Sunday, 14 August 2016

Book - Hill Billy: Take a trip down your childhood and hills


Title: Hill Billy
Author: Shivdutta Sharma
Publisher: Yogi Impressions
Pages: 206
Price: Rs. 202
My Rating: 3.5/5

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.

Hill Billy is the second book I have read of Shivdutta Sharma and I am not disappointed.
To me it is nothing like what my childhood was, but it is rather entertaining to read from someone else's perspective.

The story revolves around the time of India's Independence. When a boy is born out of a mango - we consider it pure superstition these days (well in some of us at least), I found it utterly hilarious. As if a mango can turn the chromosome factor, haha. Anyways,  it is written in those old superstitious days and it totally makes sense. And the story continues in conjunction with the adventures of the boy and his family. How they move to India, how various incidences take place and he grows up.

The characters are rather interesting and will mostly remind you of your own aunts, uncles, grand-mom especially. Many women can also relate to their own mother-in-laws ;). The way certain characters are written, it is simply hilarious. You cannot help but feel how silly sometimes relatives behave and maybe laugh on some of your real life characters as well.

What struck me most is the way the time during Independence is written. Esp when Gandhiji was murdered. The way it is written gives you a glimpse into the grief that our nation felt - though us, today's generation, most of us literally don't care about what happened then. But it is worth praising.

Overall, it is a nice read and would make you want to go back to your childhood and play again and enjoy with those lost (in touch) cousins.

My rating for the book is 3.5/5.

You should grab a copy here if you would like to go down the memory lane too.

The review copy was sent to me by Anuj Kumar, Kalamos Literary Services.

Love and Cheers


  1. The book sounds interesting.
    Thanks for sharing the review


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