An uncle for all seasons!

An uncle for all seasons!

But really, there’s none like Uncle Ken, Ruskin Bond’s bumbling relative! He ensures that there’s never a dull moment in young Rusty’s life and converts sleepy winter days in Dehradun to a non-stop roller-coaster ride of exciting adventures. Indeed, Ruskin Bond is lucky to have enjoyed ‘Crazy Times with Uncle Ken’.

‘Crazy’ is actually an understatement when it comes to Rusty’s adventures with Uncle Ken. The only brother of four doting sisters, Ken cruises along life looking for a job. Yes, he is constantly in search of a job as he doesn’t last long in any kind of employment. And when Rusty visits his grandparents in Dehradun during his winter holidays, Uncle Ken is also there  —  taking a ‘break’ from his frequent job-hopping!

To be fair to the man, he always sees to it that his young nephew’s holidays are well-spent and infuses him with liberal doses of his own eccentricities. So we have the uncle-nephew duo cycling through Dehra, where they fall into ditches, collide with bullock carts and end up wrecking the cycle.

Whenever the usually-broke uncle sees his nephew’s pocket money, he is hungry for chaat, rasgulla, ice cream and kulfi. Once, when neither of them has any money, Uncle Ken makes a plan to steal sugarcane from a nearby field, only to be chased by the irate owner who is in no mood to treat uninvited guests!

Uncle Ken drives his car into the Maharaja’s compound wall, claiming to be an ace driving instructor; he is troubled by a mischievous ghost, hated by visiting crows, teased by Tutu the monkey, and is even mistaken for Bruce Hallam, the famous English cricketer touring India around that time.

As adventures — rather misadventures — unfold  in quick succession, the young nephew realises that the word ‘normal’ is alien to his bumbling uncle. And that when it comes to Uncle Ken, he should always expect the unexpected.

‘Crazy Times with Uncle Ken’, with its rollicking humour, simple language and familiar characters, promises loads of laughter. A word of caution though: it leaves you longing for an uncle who is as endearing and eccentric as Uncle Ken.  You may not have the uncle, but you can certainly grab the book NOW!

Crazy Times with Uncle Ken
158 pp, Rs 175, Puffin Books

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