The Room on the Roof

The Room on the Roof by Ruskin Bond

Rating : 9/10

Genre : Fiction, Young Adult


What It’s About

The Room on the Roof is a classic fiction about a seventeen-year-old orphaned Anglo-Indian boy, Rusty who manages to escape his strict English guardian. He aspires to live a life of happiness and relaxation. The boy who used to be called a ‘snob’ slowly found himself developing a strong bond with his friends. He became accustomed to the Indian lifestyle and was no longer confined.

Just when Rusty was living his best life, the story took a gloomy turn. His companions start to flit which was then accompanied by a tragedy with Rusty’s first love interest. The book describes life from a teen’s perspective, his experiences with friendship, love and responsibility and his transformation into a mature adult.


How I discovered It

This novel was Ruskin Bond’s first literary venture, Written when he was seventeen himself. It was also the first book by him I’ve ever read. I discovered it quite randomly a few years back after being recommended it by my friends. It made me fall in love with the author’s writing style. After reading this book, I immediately bought more books by him, read them and became fond of them as well.


Key Thoughts

Written in a short and simple manner, the book is about self-discovery. It depicts friendship and love with a realistic approach. With an adventurous start, the ending was quite unpredicted and leaves the reader heartbroken. It shows that life is uncertain and we should learn to move on. It displays the freedom and responsibilities of a teenager’s life. The book teaches that the best relationships in life are formed when we are least expecting them; which is the reason we should open ourselves to new people without being hesitant.


Summary Notes

“They who sleep last, wake first. Hunger and pain lengthen the night, and so the beggars and dogs are the last to see the stars; hunger and pain hasten the awakening, and the beggars and dogs are the first to see the sun.”

“We don’t know why we live. It is no use trying to know. But we have to live, Rusty, because we really want to. And as long as we want to, we have got to find something to live for, and even die for it.”

“One day you’ll be great, Rusty. A writer or an actor or a prime minister or something. Maybe a poet! Why not a poet, Rusty?”

“He could not run away. He could not escape the life he had made, the ocean into which he had floundered the night he left his guardian’s house. He had to return to the room; his room; he had to go back.”