Unhurried Tales: My Favourite Novellas brings together, for the very first time, Ruskin Bond’s favourite (and finest) novellas. The stories in this book include Time Stops at Shamli (written in 1956 and published for the first time in 1987); The Blue Umbrella, which has been a bestseller for the last forty years; Angry River, which was a longer work when it was first written; Bus Stop, Pipalnagar; Night of the Leopard; The Last Tiger and Tales of Fosterganj, his latest novella, which was published in 2013.
These stories speak of a world that has long vanished, but it is a world that has lost none of its power to enchant. Whether we are accompanying Sita on her perilous journey down the angry river or Bisnu as he gets the better of a dangerous leopard, whether we delight in Binya’s joy at owning her blue umbrella or are saddened by the fate of the last tiger, whether we laugh uproariously at the antics of the eccentric guests at the ‘hotel’ in Shamli, get involved in the adventures of the boys in Pipalnagar or plunge into the various goings-on in the ‘backwater’ of Fosterganj, we are always entertained, always charmed. All the stories unwind in an unhurried way, even those that are filled with death-defying thrills and spills, and it is this quality that enables us to sink into them and experience to its fullest the magic of the fiction that Ruskin Bond has spun out of the hills and small towns of India for over sixty years.