Ruskin Bond, who ran away from home to live in an Indian household, wrote this first novel at 17. In paralleling this experience, it is suggestively autobiographical and records the flight of Rusty, 16, from his guardian with the ginger mustache and the malacca cane. In the bazaar, he makes new friends- Somi and Ranbir, and through Somi is given shelter- if it is only a room on the roof- with the Kapoors, in exchange for the English lessons he is to give young Kishen Kapoor. He entertains a distant, romantic attachment for Kishen's mother, and a first grief when she is killed- in an accident... If the slight story here dissipates itself in the sensory impressions of native life, and the seething fascination of its bazaar, Mr. Bond reflects all this vividly, visually. It is however a very special book, for a minimal market.