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Five famous works of Ruskin Bond that are seasoned with all traces of emotions

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By Prachi Mishra

It’s not just the distressing sagas of childhood and love, people and trains, the hills and rains, which quickly found their way to our hearts, but it’s also the simplicity that Ruskin Bond sprinkled in his stories that lingered for long in our minds.

An Indian author of British descent, Ruskin Bond was born in Kasauli in 1934, and spent most of his childhood amidst the Himalayas; no doubt his writing captures the local elements of the hills.

Known for his contribution to children literature, Bond has written over a hundred short stories, essays and novellas in his literary career of 40 years.

On his 81st birthday, NewsGram presents you five of his most famous works, seasoned with all traces of emotions.

The Room on the Roof

The Room on the Roof is the first novel written by Ruskin Bond. The book also fetched him the prestigious John Llewellyn Rhys Memorial Prize in 1957.

The story revolves around a 16-year-old boy, Rusty, who lives with his English guardian, after his parents’ death. He, being unhappy with the strict rules of his guardian, decides to break free one day. One day, Rusty goes to nearby market and makes many friends and starts living there. Eventually, he discovers that life is not that easy and he has to face a number of challenges that are waiting for him.

In his first written venture, Ruskin Bond has depicted a story of growing up, love, friendship, and responsibilities. It does not depict the age of adolescence merely as frivolous, but Rusty’s thoughts about his life, his insignificance, make the novel reflective. The novel engages the attention of the young and the adults alike.

Our Trees still grow in Dehra

Ruskin Bond received the Sahitya Academy Award for this written piece in 1992.

‘Our Trees still grow in Dehra’ is a collection of short stories, closely linked with each other. It traces the life of Ruskin Bond from childhood to adolescence to adulthood.

In this work, he also raises his concern over the changing lifestyle of the mountains – the massive amount of deforestation and the extinction of wild-life. He wonders that now there would remain only the artificial and lifeless landmarks created by man.

The Blue Umbrella

This is a story of a girl, Biniya, living in a village in Garhwal region. Her blue umbrella is the focal point of her life and a common envy of the remote village.

A shopkeeper Ram Bharosa is particularly enamored of the umbrella and his apprentice offers to steal it for him. He loses the respect of the villagers for his misdeed and is banished from the village.

At the end of the story, Biniya takes pity on the isolated man, and breaks the ban imposed on him and gifts him the blue umbrella.

This book also found its way to the silver screen through a movie made by Vishal Bharadwaj.

 A Flight of Pigeons

This novella has a different theme than Ruskin’s other works. It is based around the 1857 revolt in India.

The story is about Ruth Labadoor and her family (who are British) who take help of Hindus and Muslims to reach their relatives when her father is killed in a church by the Indian rebels. In the backdrop of the story, the events of the Revolt of 1857 are presented artistically in bits and pieces. Finally, the story ends with English army once again taking over the city almost after a year.

A Fight of Pigeons was made into a television series called Junoon.

The Night Train at Deoli

The story, told in first person narrative, is about a college student reflecting on his annual visits to his hometown Dehradun. On one of the trips, he notices a beautiful girl selling baskets on the street and fantasizes about meeting her.

In subsequent years, he continues to fantasize about her but never pursues her. It’s the story of an unspoken yet powerful attraction and of the student’s regret for never having acted on his passion.

This short story vividly depicts the profundity and flux of human emotions.

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Copyright 2015 NewsGram

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Himachal, the most wanted place to visit for New Year

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Himachal, the most wanted place to visit for New Year
Himachal, the most wanted place to visit for New Year. wikimedia commons

Shimla/Manali, December 30, 2017: Tens of thousands of holidaymakers started gathering across resorts in Himachal Pradesh on Saturday to bid goodbye to 2017. Mellow sunshine and no snowfall will greet them at most of the tourist destinations till next week though.

The most sought-after destinations were Shimla, Kufri, Narkanda, Kasauli, Chail, Dharamsala, Palampur, Dalhousie and Manali and the revellers have to be prepared to sleep out in cars overnight if they did not get hotel bookings in advance.

Most of the hotels have been sold out in advance, members of the hospitality industry warned.

“Our properties in Shimla, Chail, Kasauli, Dharamsala and Manali have been almost sold out for the last two days of this year.

“Overall, the response of the tourists is good,” Himachal Pradesh Tourism Development Corporation (HPTDC) General Manager Vijay Sharma told IANS.

He said most of the guests have been enquiring about the possibility of snowfall on the New Year’s Eve.

Over 50,000 tourists were expected to visit the state to ring in New Year, tourism industry experts said.

The popular tourist town of Narkanda, some 65 km from Shimla, saw season’s first spell of snow in December but it melted within a few days.

Shimla, known for the imperial grandeur of buildings that were once institutions of power when it was the summer capital of British India, is yet to receive any snowfall.

Shimla’s meteorological office Director Manmohan Singh said the weather would largely remain dry with long sunny days in the state till January 4.

“The prominent hill stations have not experienced snow almost a fortnight now,” Singh told IANS.

The mountain peaks viewed from Shimla’s historic Ridge, Dharamsala and Palampur towns were wrapped in a thick white blanket of snow.

Manali is a magnet for holidaymakers these days owing to plentiful snow in its nearby hills.

“Nearby hills of Manali have been attracting the tourists owing to good accumulation of snow,” a Manali-based travel agent M.C. Thakur said.

Aanchal Khurana, a tourist from Delhi, said: “I prefer to travel to Shimla, especially during these days when the plains are foggy and chilly and the hills are basking in the sun.”

Himachal Pradesh has no tourist accommodations in far-off areas. Rural home-stays that started in 2008 were driving tourists to the interiors and that were the best option to stay.

At present, 807 home-stay units have been registered in the state. Out of these, 233 were in the Kullu-Manali region. Shimla district has 211 units, followed by Kangra 111.

The state’s economy is highly dependent on tourism, besides hydroelectric power and horticulture.

The state attracted 18.45 million tourists in 2016, which is 2.7 times its population, says the state’s Economic Survey 2016-17.

According to the report, the state has 2,604 hotels with a bed capacity of 70,869 registered with the tourism department. In addition, there are 787 home-stay units with a provision of 2,137 rooms. (IANS)