Friday, October 29, 2021

A Simple Book of Living - Ruskin Bond

 It's a beautiful little book full of simple thoughts and wise insights from a man who wears it all very lightly. At eighty plus Ruskin Bond says he has been fortunate to have found happiness in reading a book, in companionship and in nature.

His life has been spent pretty much in Dehradun and Mussoorie where he lives and so much of his writing is centred around it. This book is a collection of thoughts, short ones, poetic almost, some poems too. About nature, about beauty, about happiness, hope, love, friendship, memories, people, flowers, birds - he writes about subtle thoughts that connect them all. Like his wanting to sit on the wall and observe the world and getting some inspiration, of creating a world of his own while the world is engaged in wars, of a stolen kiss, of an old lover, of trusted friends, of writing to make a living. Fantastic.

Don't grasp he says quoting Lao Tzu - the world will slip away!

The number of birds and animals and flowers and trees he names (he also claims he makes some up if he doesn't know their names which I think is a sound philosophy) - marigold, cherry, thrush, oak, peach, plum, apricot, walnut, magpie, kokla bird, redstart, pear tree, Himalayan chir, pygmy owl, barking deer, blackberry, mynah, spruce tree, hawk cuckoo, geranium, nasturtiums, daisy, raat ki rani, field mouse, nightjar, ferns, wild ginger, snake lily, cobra lily, agrimony, lady's lace, wild geranium, babblers, bulbuls, dandelion, wild begonia, wild sorrel, convulvulus, thorn apples, nettles, antirrhinums, honeysuckle, oleander, green backed tits, king crow, kastura, barbet... I will now check these and find out how they look like.

It's a beautiful book. A perfect gift. One of those which you don't want to give away to someone because you want to read it again and again. Its a nice, safe space to o, Mr Bond's world.  

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