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Character Sketch of Rusty in the novel ‘The Room on The Roof by Ruskin Bond’

By this time if you have had read Ruskin Bond keenly, well you must be aware of some of his favourite characters that often appear like, Bina, Binya, Sitaram, Hasan, Romi, and of course there is Rusty. We cannot forget him. It is this character that made young Ruskin Bond shot into fame.


Rusty, as a character, is the most loved one among his fans and readers. And to much extent, his persona is loosely based on Ruskin himself, though never admits that. Well, here we are going to discuss the character sketch of Rusty in Ruskin's first and most hit novel - The Room on The Roof.

Rusty is an orphan. His parents are long dead. The year is around 1950's of India. Though India has gained independence in 1947, traces of white people are still visible in many corners of the country, like Dehradun. Here Rusty lives with a guardian called Mr. Harrison.

Unlike Rusty's late father, Harrison is a strict missionary man who beats Rusty with a cane upon slightest mistake. It is certain that Rusty feels like a caged bird, though on the other hand Mr. Harrison logistically takes care of him. Even Harrison's wife cares about him but they want him to be a perfect Englishman, so one day he can go back to his native country England and start his career into some field, not writing.

Next, we see that one day Rusty is walking home while it is drizzling, and then a Sikh boy named Somi offers him a ride till his home. Rusty becomes his friends and they often meet. Somi often takes Rusty to the bazaar and with other boys they all roam here and there and eat chaat. Mr. Harrison never allows Rusty to roam or get mingled with the Indian bazaars or people, lest he gets dirty and deplorable. So, here racism matters most for his guardian.

After meeting Somi and other Indian friends, Rusty feels that freedom is the most prized possession of any human being, rather a human right. However, Mr. Harrison is not aware that Rusty has begun mingling with the Indian people.

On the eve of Holi festival, Rusty comes home smeared in colour and dirt. What next? Mr. Harrison begins beating him like a beast but Rusty revolts and in return beats Mr. Harrison and runs away.
The first night that Rusty spends outside was under the open sky and it was raining. The grim realities of the world send jitters to him but he is determined not to go back to Mr. Harrison.

Later on, with the help of Somi and Ranbir, Rusty begins teaching English to Kishen, another Punjabi boy. In return Rusty gets a room on the roof for living. He is also getting food and some money.

Since Rusty is a teenager, around 18 years old, he falls in love with Mrs. Meena, Kishen's mother. There we see a short-lived love affair of him. However, soon Mrs. Meena dies in a car accident and at that time Kishen leaves for Hardwar to live with his aunty while Rusty gets into depression and begins drinking alcohol. He could not resist the death of his first love.

In the conclusion, we can say that like every other teenager Rusty too loved freedom and fun and love. However, circumstances made him quite sad and lonely. As you read the novel, you will find that his biggest fight in life, as an orphan, is to fight loneliness and keep himself socially secure.

Read the full summary of the novel ‘The Room on the Room’: http://www.keveinbooksnreviews.in/2016/07/book-review-room-on-roof-by-ruskin-bond.html

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