Want to become a part of 1960s family in UP? Want to enjoy the summers, the holidays with Dadiji, Nanhe, Chhotu, Chachi and Gigi and all the rest? Want to travel by train with all its excitement and romance, to escape the heat to the Queen of the Hills Mussourie? And then discover the mysteries of old bungalows and cemetery the scary and romantic stories buried there in? Want to walk along the Camel's back road, and have some (mis)adventurous trecking?
Divyaroop Bhatnanagr's book gives all this and more. The intimacy and informality yet lucidity of the books envelopes the reader within the fold of the family and gives an affectionate tour through the summer vacation of 1960s.
Journey to the Hills and Other Stories comes across as a warm and honest book, warm because the warmth of the family bonds can be felt on every page and honest because it is about straight forward telling, without complexity and layers. It brings alive the sixties and Mussoorie through a child's eyes, a very mature and right minded child's eye. It is a quick read and I highly recommend it to everyone.
A Journey to the Hills and other stories by Divyaroop Bhatnagar is a very engaging collage of life in a typical hill station from the British era. Drawing on his own childhood experiences in Mussoorie, the author vividly captures various vignettes of an easy-paced life, evoking images of very relatable characters and situations from times past. Written in a simple, story-telling style, this charming little book is an easy read, and draws many smiles and nods along the way, taking you on a slow and happy journey to the quaint little hill stations that dot the mountains of India, and the very lovable characters of those times. Highly recommended reading for an unhurried, relaxed weekend.
I have finished reading this wonderful book, which is a recollection of a family vacationing in Mussoorie in the mid-60s. The charm lies in your lucid writing, non-complex plots but the manner in which you wields your pen is worthy of praise. While reading this I feel as if I’m traveling to and in Mussoorie along with babaji, dadiji and all. Simple writing, filled with sweet humor. Being simple is difficult and this book boasts of simplicity.
Some articles which I liked the most are Camel’s Backroad and Ida Villa, the graveyard & Dadaji. The book has furthered my wish to visit Mussoorie, especially with all this. I cudnt stop smiling while reading Kanpur Kankaiya…….khichadi ke chaar yaar etc. Your wit of writing makes it even more enjoyable. Being Upite, i could relate these typical words and even more as one of my uncle lives in Kanpur.
Last but not the least, Journey to the Hills and other stories, light-hearted, beautiful, soul-soothing. Makes me to start walking, traveling and enjoying the nature. Truly beautiful. I find it similar to Ruskin Bond’s writing. Once someone start reading, I guarantee that he/she will finish all the stories in one sitting, as I did.
Thank you so much for such a nice piece of work. I wish you continue to write with the flair that you have. Keep writing
I loved the plots, the personalities described, the language used and, of course, description of a Mussoorie I remember fondly. The plots are Enid-Blyton-isque explorations that are very interesting. I could relate to the persons described because they are all like people I know. The use of certain words is so appropriate - we have all used "Holdalls" for summer holidays and the Mussoorie described is how I like to remember that hill station. I don't visit there any more because the character of the town has been destroyed. But as the author points out - the Mussoorie of the 1960s and 1970s may be gone but is certainly not forgotten.