"Good-natured, evoking nostalgia for a forgotten era, this charming memoir is both touching and entertaining. A must read for all those who love the hills.”
– Ruskin Bond
A mango ensures the birth of a son…
Ghosts hoot and cackle in a forest…
A tiger strikes terror in the heart of a village…
A boy experiences the first stirrings of desire…
On trips back to his hometown, memories appear, cling, and then fade away like the mist in the Himalayan foothills. Tracing the pangs and pleasures of growing up during the time of missionary schools, wind-up gramophones, hand-pulled designer rickshaws, maharanis in their imitation castles, busty film stars of the black-and-white era – a lone, all-brown boy in an all-white American school comes to grips with his coming of age.
Fast-paced and furiously funny, The Hill Billy zips up the otherwise tranquil, languid, laid-back life in a hill station that hasn’t quite got over the hangover of its British past.
The debut work of an author who has spent a big chunk of his life coining advertising slogans and jingles – The Hill Billy runs riot with its take-off on school teachers, hunters, swamis, dairy farmers, and nosy neighbours. In the process, it takes a somewhat whacky, irreverent and cynical view of the characters who love, laugh and come alive through its crackling narrative.
In her weekly column, Eunice de Souza, while reviewing 'The Hill Billy' in her article captioned 'The Hills Are Alive', writes:
"Certainly, Sharma's novel is a welcome addition to the novels that describe life in the hills... the narrative begins with one of those awful Partition experiences that the family went through when fleeing from Sialkot... But the rest of the book which talks about the life of the family in Mussoorie is decidedly more cheerful."
– Eunice de Souza, Mumbai Mirror, May 2014
Tribune News Service
Mussoorie, April 15
"…'Hill Billy' published by India Impressions, hit the bookstands in Mussoorie today. The book authored by Shiv Dutt Sharma literally zips up and through the otherwise tranquil, languid, and laid-back life in a hill station (Mussoorie) tucked away in the Himalayan foothills.
It recreates the once idyllic era of wine and roses, chandeliered ballrooms and refrains of the Blue Danube, the prim, convent girls and the grey-flannel trousered boys from its famous Jesuit schools, along with those from schools run by other missionaries in Mussoorie.
However, beneath this veneer of calm and tranquillity, there bubble and boil cauldrons of steamy emotions, which often spill over into public view much to the shock, horror, amazement, and quite often to the ribald amusement of its residents hidden behind latticed wooden screens and chintz curtains...
When contacted the author Shiv Dutt Sharma said that his love for mountains has been the source of inspiration for the debut book titled 'Hill Billy'."
– Extract from The Tribune
|Size||8½" × 5½"|