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Funny Side Up By Ruskin Bond Book PDF

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Funny Side Up By Ruskin Bond Book PDF Download Free

Funny Side Up by Ruskin Bond Book
Funny Side Up by Ruskin Bond Book
AuthorRuskin Bond
FilenameFunny Side Up PDF
LanguageEnglish
PDF Size5.2 MB
No.of Pages86
CategoryChildren Book
Creditarchive.org

BELTING AROUND MUMBAI

I have lived to see Bombay become Mumbai, Calcutta become Kolkata, and Madras become Chennai. Times change, names change, and if Bond becomes Bonda I won’t object. Place names may alter but people don’t, and in Mumbai, I found that people were as friendly and good-natured as ever; perhaps
even more than when I was last there twenty-five years ago.

On that occasion, I had traveled the Doon Express, a slow passenger train that stopped at every small station in at least five states, taking two days and two nights from Dehradun to Bombay. It had been a fairly uneventful journey, except for an incident in the small hours when we stopped at Baroda
and a hand slipped through my open window, crept under my pillow, found nothing of value except my spectacles, and decided to take them anyway, leaving me to grope half-blind around Bombay until another pair could be made.

Now I carry three pairs of spectacles: one for reading, one for looking at people, and one for looking far out to sea.

On the Kingfisher flight to Mumbai, I used the second pair, as I like looking at people, especially attractive air hostesses. I found they were looking at me too, but that was because I’d caught my belt (my trouser belt, not my seat belt) in a fellow passenger’s luggage strap and was proceeding to drag both him and his travel bag down the aisle.

We were diplomatically separated by the aforesaid air hostesses who then guided me to my seat without further mishap. This reminded me of the occasion many years ago when I auditioned for a role in a Tarzan film.

Who do you wish to play?’ asked the casting director.

‘Tarzan, of course,’ I said.

He gave me a long hard look. ‘Can you swing from one tree to another?’ he asked. ‘Easily,’ I said. ‘I can even swing from a chandelier.’ And I proceeded to do so, wrecking the hall they sat in, in the
process. They begged me to stop.

‘Thank you, Mr. Bond, you have made your point. But we don’t think you have the figure for the part of Tarzan. Would you like to take the part of the missionary who is being cooked to a crisp by a bunch of cannibals? Tarzan will come to your rescue.’

I declined the role with dignity. And now I was in Mumbai, not to audition for a film, but to inaugurate the Rupa Book Festival. For old time’s sake, 1 arrived at the venue in a horse-drawn carriage. Alighting, my recalcitrant belt buckle got entangled with the horse’s harness and I almost dragged the entire contraption into the Bajaj exhibition hall.

However, the evening’s entertainment went off without a hitch. Gulzar read from Ghalib, Tom Alter read from Gulzar, Mandira Bedi read from Nandita Puri, and everyone read madly from each other, and I sat quietly in a corner to keep my belt out of further entanglements.

The next day I was taken on a tour of the city by a Hindustan Times journalist and a photographer. They asked me to pose on the steps of the Asiatic Society’s Library, an imposing colonial edifice. MCTiile I stood there being photographed, a group of teenagers walked past and I overheard one of them remark: The Naya model hain.’

I took it as a compliment. At least they didn’t call me a Purana model. Perhaps there’s still a chance to get that Tarzan role. If not Tarzan, then his grandfather.

The same journalist and photographer took me to a market where you could buy anything from books to bras. They thrust a thousand-rupee note into my willing hands and told me I could buy anything I liked, while they took pictures.

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