Lone Fox Dancing is the autobiography of the master storyteller Ruskin Bond, who does some magic with his pen and the utterly mundane events of a normal routine life turn into the most beautiful and interesting pieces of writing.
This book is the life story of the author, the struggles he faced while growing up and the experiences he gained during the adventurous journey of his life. So, join me in exploring the real life of this magician and the inspiration behind his magical story world; the story behind the storyteller…
Inspiration / The Impulse
After reading so many books by Ruskin Bond, it is impossible to not become a fan of this man and his writing. His charismatic writing revives the child inside us who then wishes to roam in the hills under the Deodars freely and never come back to the real busy city life. I can proudly say that I am a Ruskin Bond fan and it was mandatory for me to own and read the autobiography of my favourite author back then. So, I went ahead and bought it and it still is one amongst the most treasured books of my collection. And here I am today, feeling lucky, writing the review for this exquisite autobiography of a vagrant and an inquisitive mind that weaves magic with his words.
Eighteen, and in control of my own destiny. For that man is strongest who stands alone.
Synopsis - Lone Fox Dancing
Lone Fox Dancing is a beautifully written autobiography of a simple man who led a simple but interesting life. The author throws light upon his troubled childhood, his adulthood and then his journey to evolve as a matured human being. He has written about all the people who influenced him in one way or the other and has covered all the events that shaped his life, shaped him.
The book is divided into four parts- his early childhood, his school years and the time spent in boarding school, his life and struggles in England and finally when he is back in India. He has penned down the effects of living in a dysfunctional family and the pain of losing his father in his early age, so artistically that the reader would also get a feeling of loneliness while reading. His fight to find his own self clubbed with the struggle of getting accepted in his own country, India, gives us an insight into the reason behind the melancholic undertone that encompasses all his writings. Sadness is an inherent part of the human condition but here, Mr. Bond wraps his sadness in a subtle humour and presents us a seemingly ordinary life in an extraordinary manner; and the knowledge of this reality makes us twirl with empathy.
I was never afraid of the dark, and till today I see the night as a friend, giving me the privacy that I find so hard to find by day. Starlight, moonlight, early dawn, all have a special loneliness about them.
He has written about his family and friends, people around him, his holidays spent at home, the grief of losing his father, his struggles to establish himself as a writer, his love life, his heartbreaks, his loneliness and ultimately his finding solace. This wonderful line from the book sums up the subtle nuances of this legend’s life: –
As a boy, loneliness. As a man solitude. The loneliness was not of my seeking. The solitude I sought. And found.
The most important takeaway for me is to follow your instincts and work honestly towards pursuing your passion. His accommodating nature teaches us to value our relationships and the people around us. His love for India is also very much evident from this book. One obvious thing that can be learnt from his simple yet captivating writing is to see the ordinary routine things around us with an interesting perspective. We can learn endless lessons if we wish to, from this magnificently written autobiography as Ruskin Bond’s life is a perfect script that serves this purpose very well.
What I liked
If you want to believe that autobiographies can also be interesting then please do read Lone Fox Dancing. I read it around three years ago and I still remember that my expectation was not much as I thought that after having read so many books by him and knowing that almost all of his stories are semi-autobiographical in nature, I know this man in and out. But Oh boy! It was such a pleasant surprise that I couldn’t help myself devouring the whole book in one sitting. It is so innocently written that I ended up loving Ruskin Bond as a person more than as a writer and trust me, this coming from an ardent Ruskin Bond books’ fan, means something.
Ruskin Bond did not refrain from showing his vulnerability to his readers, neither did he make any tall claims about his life. A simple, modest, non-judgemental life that has an infectious warmth which is bound to draw you closer to the actual Ruskin Bond. And the personal photographs in the middle of the book serve as icing on the cake.
I can go on and on about this book because I loved every bit of it. In all, Lone Fox Dancing is far more than a routine autobiography.
What I did not like
The only thing I didn’t like about this book is that I was expecting it to cover his entire life which it didn’t. It focuses mainly on the first thirty-five years of his life. Other than this, it is very difficult to dislike anything in this book.
Recommendation - Lone Fox Dancing
A delightful and light read unlike the usual autobiographies. Highly recommended, specially for all Ruskin Bond lovers.