Wednesday, July 05, 2006

The name is Bond ...

... or, walking to Landour (and back)















Looking back from Kulri
















A shared burden


















Landour Bazaar. Reminiscent of Benaras?













Toothpaste and milk? "We provide the complete morning ..."












The sun creeping in. Nice?
















A WTF moment















I huffed up the last few steps of the footpath and asked about “Bond Saheb ka ghar” from a man sitting in the sun. He grinned and pointed. “Up there, on the second floor”. Eh? I had expected a little cottage with a garden, not an apartment in a little crumbling house. I actually blurted out “Bas, this is it?!”

A ramrod-straight, tweed-clad, grey-whiskered Sikh gent who was passing took offence and rebuked me. “He is a very good man. Great men are simple.” I tried to explain that I had read about Mr. Bond’s garden gate. The gentleman’s ire subsided. He explained that the “garden gate” was actually a wicket leading from the first-floor landing to the second floor. I nodded sagely. And passed on to gaze reverently upon The Man’s window for a while.

Later, my friend asked me why I didn’t just ring the bell. Some people have NO sense. Who would like to have their morning disrupted by some stranger with a camera (and, truth to tell, a thirst. I’ve read somewhere that Mr. Bond likes his beer)? But it would have been nice to see his Yoda-like visage.












Mr. Bond's house

His window (love the flowers behind glass,
there's a DH Lawrence poem like that)
























His neighbourhood

























And his view.











From a little way down that road, I could see Katesar "Castle" and its temple on the hill behind the Academy. Even the red roof of the monstrous new auditorium sticks its shoulder out from behind the ridge, like an elephant trying to hide behind a palm tree. I felt strangely happy at the fact that it could be seen from the corner of Mr. Bond's road.
I also felt very stupid that I had never made the pilgrimage when I lived in Mussoorie. Oh well, better late ....

**** ****

23 comments:

Priya said...

I've never been to Mussourie, but from your post I can feel the exhilarating freshness of the air, can smell the earth and the scent of flowers; it brings a smily to my eyes :)

The Marauder's Map said...

We gathered courage to walk up to Mr Bond's door, only to be told he'd just that morning left for Delhi.

Isn't Landour heavenly? What I wouldn't give to go there again.

Bonatellis said...

we've been planning a 3-4 day off (Official Fun & Frolic)-site for the last month ... I read your blog and realised my co has a guest house in Mussourie.
Hmmmmm .........

Bonatellis said...

pardone ... a holiday home, some place called Camel Back Rd ...

neha vish said...

We like Egg Shop.

For me hill stations have some sort of yolky relationship. I don't eat much of eggs otherwise. But in hillstations - there is nothing like am omlette. With bread.

I wonder.

hutumthumo said...

aapanar raater gari-o taholey deoli-te thamlo na? bhaloi holo hoyeto, kichu na thama-o majhe majhe thatomato kobita.

Plumpernickel said...

Mmmmm... Mussourie. Haven't been there for ages. I think morning doesn't break as spectacularly anywhere else.

Stalker..... heehee...

Salil said...

Lovely shots. Mussourie's one name on my list of places to visit - sadly don't think I'll have the chance to go travelling around India any time in the near future. :\

J. Alfred Prufrock said...

Priya, that was the Charleville ramble. This walk was on paved roads.

Marauder, farther afield next time.

Bonatellis, wait till the holiday invasion is over. October - clear weather, crisp chill, great views, lower prices. Camel'S Back Road should be good, it's out behind the ridge.

Neha, I prefer omElettes. Slightly runny, with sliced "quarters", eaten off a steel plate while sitting on a bench.

Hutum Bhaya, apatoto "is raat ki subah nahin". Aashchhe boshhor abaar hobe.

Plump, for psectacular mornings you really have to go up above 10,000 ft.

Salil, sympathies. Meantime, vineyards will have to do. Why no pics of the vines?

J.A.P.

Akash said...

Comment 3: I had a different picture of Bond house in my imagination grown out of his stories and interviews.

Comment 2. Don't remember to have seen so many eggs in a single store.

Comment 1. Nice post.

Anonymous said...

aha!pilgrimage !

-trivialmonk

bindu said...

lovely post....the snaps are superb...so much that i cant resist but ask..."which camera do u use?"

bindu said...

oops dont bother to answer....got the answer in one of ur comments....going thru ur posts....no work today :))

i must say once again.....amazing snaps!!

Apoplexy said...

ei dayal babar brityanto ar ganteer britryaanto jana ache tomar...shei thikujir post ta kothay?

km said...

JAP, the trick to securing entry into Bond's house is having Ursula Andress with you.

//dated reference. Hmpf. Egg-eating Neha wouldn't know who Ms. Andress is.

Tabula Rasa said...

apologies for lowering the standards of the discourse, but isn't an omlette a little om? and by that criterion, isn't an ursula a great bear? and doesn't a great bear provide direction to navigators?

Jane Sunshine said...

I read a few pasages from Mr.Bond's work when I went to beautiful Mussourie. Now, I know where he lives and will try to venture some day.

progga said...

JAP, which corners of the world have you not trodden? Mr. Bond's home must be inspiration indeed. His writing certainly provides many garlands of memories.

Vivek Kumar said...

Aha.. I didn't know I could get so nostalgic so soon!

I made that particular pilgrimage towards the end of FC, and I saw (not met) Mr. Bond too!

panu said...

beeeoootiphool.

Nothing else will do.

Kaushik said...

Did not get overrun by the honeymooners?

Twilight Fairy said...

So whatever did Mr. Bond have to say? "My name is Bond - Ruskin Bond" ?

Y? said...

wow! i remember before I went to his house I imagined a cottage out of English novels and I thought he'll feed us cookies and all that!! His house is lovely though! :) muchly i like the photos .