richardthinks (richardthinks) wrote,

pure pleasure: Ruskin Bond

The ever interesting David Derrick reproduces a looong passage from the most famous Indian author that he correctly predicts I will never have heard of, and it's a delight. I particularly like this snippet, that upends that old colonial chestnut, "you know the natives don't get sick - they're used to it:"

To be honest, I am not a great railway traveller. I am a poor traveller altogether, being prone to any water-borne infection, unfamiliar food, skin eruptions caused by bugs lurking in the upholstery, suffocation from cigarette and engine smoke, and vertigo from riding in escalators. I am also prone to have things stolen from me. The train stopped at Baroda in the early hours, and a lean hand shot through the window, removing my watch from under my pillow, along with my spectacles, which could have been of no use to anyone, my lens-strength being -7 in one eye and +5 in the other. I had to appear in a Bombay court the next day (having been dragged there to face charges for writing an allegedly obscene short story), and I appeared wearing editor Vinod Mehta’s glasses, which were only half the strength of mine. I looked so owlish and helpless that the judge must have felt sorry for me, for the case eventually took a turn in my favour.


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