Resisting The Colonial Prejudice of Mr. Harrison: Dehra’s Bazaar in Ruskin Bond’s The Room On The Roof


  • Arup Pal


This article seeks to address how the activities of Dehra’s (Dehradun’s) Bazaar in Ruskin Bond’s The Room on the Roof resist colonial prejudice and English pretentiousness triggered by an Anglo-Indian character, Mr. John Harrison. It also studies how Rusty’s association with the bazaar upends his guardian’s English decorum in post-Independence India. The novel evinces that Rusty’s ties with local Indian friends helps him come out of the narrow cocoon of his guardian’s outlook and perceive ‘real India’. This article presents Rusty’s struggle and leap from his reclusive quasi-English way to become a responsible and free Indian citizen. Central to this discussion is the dialectic between English decency and its peripheral subversion through celebrating the desi culture of Dehra’s Bazaar.