They maybe different in terms of religion and nationality but the lands around the Indian Ocean have more similarities than you can imagine
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Ruskin Bond hasn’t produced any new writing in years, sustaining his reputation for prolificacy instead with numberless anthologies of work that has previously appeared elsewhere. But a devoted readership hungry for more ensures that anything Bond puts his name to flies off the shelves, and you can’t argue with that. And so Tales of the Open Road (Penguin; Rs 200) brings together, what else, but travel writing, penned by Bond over the last 50 years or so. For Bond, ‘romance lurks in the most unlikely places’— to be precise, in dusty Indian towns called Chhutmalpur, Najibabad and the like. Over the course of this collection, Bond runs away from school in Mussoorie to Jamnagar, takes on the Grand Trunk Road, and plays the flaneur in 1960s Delhi, before coming full circle to his beloved hills. The text is interspersed with photographs taken by the writer on his travels. Swinging to the beat of a different drummer, these are vignettes of no fixed destination. Bond is an original, and his prose, even if somewhat plain, is refreshing and unpretentious.
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