This is a short biography of younger Ruskin Bond, life stories mostly from the days when he was growing up. And a few of them are from recent past. This book is a collection of sixteen stories and they are a lot more than fairy tales.
‘Escape from Java’ was no less adventure for young Bond. The aircraft he took along with his father and co-passengers to fly to India crashes into the sea and all the passengers stay afloat for days until help arrives. Other tales reflect the author’s relationship with his parents, grandparents and childhood friends.
Losing his loving father would have been painful for young Bond as one of the chapters show the melancholy, hardships to be faced when one loses his loved ones. Probably that incident would have made Bond an inward looking person and pick writing as a profession.
Few chapters are about his encounters with birds and animals in his grandparent’s house, learning to swim in a pond along with buffaloes, Tonga rides etc. And they all have the flavor of Bond, appreciation of nature, an irritation towards those who cut trees in the name of development, details of landmarks and the memories attached to them.
The story ‘What’s your dream?’ shows the mistake most of us do in our lives. It says the difficult times come when one realizes his dream. He then moves on to bigger dreams, and takes things for granted, but risks losing it all, even the first dream too may vanish.
Reading Bond can make one enjoy things what he has, appreciate what nature has given to us and not to be greedy. I am sure to read more of Ruskin Bond.