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The Room On The Roof / Vagrants In The Valley
Author: Ruskin Bond

Publisher: Penguin
ISBN: 9780140239591
Pages: 223
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The Room On The Roof, Vagrants In The Valley 01 Edition consists of two books by the famous author Ruskin Bond. The first book is Ruskin Bond’s The Room On The Roof, which is the story of a 16-year-old Anglo-Indian boy Rusty who has lost his parents at a young age and is living with his guardian Mr. John Harrison who is another Anglo-Indian. Harrison is a rigid Britisher who hates Indians and abhors their living standards. He is a tyrant and Rusty becomes the victim of his tyranny.

Besides this brutal guardian, Rusty has to face other cruel things in his life. He is living in a diminishing European community where Anglo-Indians have a separate market and Rusty is not allowed to even look at the Indian bazaar. He doesn’t have many friends except an untouchable, sweeper, a young Indian boy. Having had enough of his boring life, he decides to run away.

Living in Dehra, a North Indian town he is eager to explore the Indian bazaars and soon he explores that life on the open road is loaded with excitement and adventure. To see the colorful side of his town, he makes frequent visits to the Indian bazaars secretly but his fate is not in his favor and he gets caught. Soon he makes other friends and when he is thrown out of his house he resides at one of his friend’s place. There he gets a new life. He is enchanted to get lost in the brilliant world of the bazaar, the beauty of hindu festivals, and other multihued aspects of Indian life.

He starts working and soon becomes a tutor of another of his friends Kishen. Later, Kishen’s mother Meena offers Rusty to stay with them in a room on their roof. This room is a simple one consisting of a window, four walls, and a bed. Later the story takes a twist when Rusty falls in love with Meena thereby making the story further more interesting for both young as well as adult readers. Written by Bond during his teenage years, it is a masterwork of adolescence and coming of age. It vividly captures the hopes and passions of young minds. It is a touching story of love and friendship.

The second book in this collection is Ruskin Bond’s Vagrants in the Valley, which is the sequel of A Room On The Roof. The story of this story begins where its prequel ends. Here Rusty’s friend Kishen joins him in his travels and adventures. Rusty goes on another runaway journey. Both these teenagers come to know about the nuances of growing up on their escapades. They go on to explore the unknown and soon come to know the facts that there are limitations even for the freest of spirits.

Ruskin Bond fills every page of this novel with smells, sounds, and sights of India to help the readers visualize the story. Similar to his other books, even this one is witty and sharply observed. Targeted at an audience of 13 years and above, this story is a lovable tale about friendship, innocence, and youth.