‘I followed my heart instead of my head. It is something I have done all my life’ – Ruskin Bond
Memoir genre has its own readers. The writing itself transports you to yesteryears of life. It conjures up memories, both happy and sad. In his new memoir – Listen to your heart: The London Adventure, author Ruskin Bond recounts the days he spent in London where he struggled to meet his ends as a writer. He took several jobs, got hospitalized, fell in love and wrote his debut book – The Room on The Roof. The book is a tribute to undying spirit of human nature that strives to achieve its goal no matter how worse the circumstances may be. This book captures the formative years of Ruskin Bond as writer and how the memories of his hometown ‘Dehra’ and his friends inspired to pen the story – The Room on the roof. His journal entries later metamorphized into a full-fledged book which introduced to everyone’s favorite character – Rusty, an alter-ego of Bond. His days in London are full of nostalgic incidents where he binged on cinemas, ate in cheap restaurants and even suffered a heartbreak.
The descriptions of London by Ruskin create visuals in mind of readers when he reads this memoir. Mention of poet Ernest Dowson in the book really bring tears in the eyes. The ill-fated poet Ernest Dowson succumbed to depression as his love for a waitress was never reciprocated. He died at a young age of 32. One of the lines from his writings inspired a movie title – Gone with the wind. Ruskin Bond has mentioned about his own tragic heartbreak where he hopelessly fell in love with a Vietnamese girl. After recovering from the heart break, Ruskin focused on his writings again. He rewrote his story ‘The Room on the Roof’ again. This time it got accepted by a publication company. The memoir ends with Bond returning to India. London was never a home for him. His soul lay in the soil of India and its people. After returning from London, Bond never left India. He made mountains his home. For those who are away from India, this illustrated memoir will literally bring tears in their eyes. The illustrations of artist Mihir Joglekar take you back to era of 50’s London. It creates a nostalgic imagery in minds of readers. This book is last in the series of illustrated memoir by Ruskin Bond. If you love reading illustrated memoir book, then I highly recommend reading this book which is a classic in making.