Monday, 19 October 2015

In The Land Of Bond, Ruskin Bond!

Coco never ventures out without his fleet of little cars, and he never leaves a place without getting us to buy more cars. It was quite usual for us as we ended up buying this pack of six vehicles at the mall road, Mussoorie. Last weekend we visited the queen of hills and stayed overnight. In the evening, after we reached our place to stay, we refreshed and went ahead for a long and leisurely stroll on the mall, where the above mentioned shopping for cars took place.

 As far as I remember, I have always loved hills. They have their own smell, their own charm and they never fail to mesmerize me. It is quite another story with Coco and his dad who get motion sickness during curvy hilly drives. His dad though, remains fine when he is driving the vehicle, but the child in my arms constantly threatens to throw up, which is quite a spoiler for my love of hills. In any case, before we move out of this place which overlooks Mussoorie, I wanted to visit Mussoorie in a relaxed manner and not for only a few hours like we did earlier at many occasions. So we planned a weekend at Mussoorie which is a 30 km drive from our home and set sail. 

It was gaiety and gala as usual on mall road, and as we neared Cambridge book store at the far end, I suddenly remembered it was Saturday, the day of the week when Mussoorie's very own celebrated author Ruskin Bond comes and meets his fans. I felt a rushing sensation that I get when I am excited and proceeded to enter the bookstore. But my hopes died down as I glanced up and down the aisles of an empty bookstore, except for a single salesman and the owner on the counter. 
We stayed for some time, looking at books, not courageous enough to ask anyone, and as a few other people also arrived, we gradually came to know that Mr Bond comes between 3 pm to 5 30 pm or so. Oh, if only I had known! At 5, I was happily chatting away with a senior couple at our guest house over steaming cups of tea, overlooking a deep gorge. Anyways, the very courteous owner at the bookstore allowed me to click a few pictures of the store. I was also extremely happy to find that they keep scores of signed books by Mr Bond for sale. At least! 
So we bought a few story books for Coco, and one signed book of Ruskin Bond, and very grudgingly exited the store. The enthusiasm with which people were talking about Mr Bond, the excitement about his books and the fanfare were all testimonies to his great work. I was a little crestfallen at not being able to see him, even when I had the opportunity, and I wished him a long and happy life, out of sheer fan-love.
Aww, so much love! Later, I gazed at the signature for a  a few minutes, before falling asleep beneath a cozy comforter in the chilly Mussoorie night.


After the bookstore, our next stop was Kalsang, the favorite Thai-Chinese food joint of the foodie tourists, where we beat the chill in style, with spicy lip smacking food. After having our fill, we strolled on the mall road for a while where Coco caught the fancy of a group of bubbly and noisy young people, among many others, as it always happens wherever we go. So he had a long round of photo shoot with these boys and girls. Sensing the presence of too much energy to deal with, Coco's father left the pram and watched as we all clicked away.   
We returned to our nightly abode after an ice-cream (I know, in the chilly weather!) and a couple of strolls on the mall road. Though I was tired by now, and sleepy, I read quite a few pages from my newly acquired book and fell asleep dreaming of adorable hill ghosts, Bond style...