Saturday was a Ruskin Bonding day for me 🙂
I took a copy of “The best of Ruskin Bond” with me, to spend a weekend without internet at home. I had some minimum confidence that I will not be bored with the book. The book is a collection of various forms of his writings – stories,travelogues,essays,poems,horror tales,excerpts and novellas. I did not venture in to reading excerpts and those novellas. Excerpts since I don’t like reading one part of a novel and then, wondering about “what happens next?” later. Novellas since I read both of them before. Anyways, this collection did not dissappoint me, and it only increased the “minimum guarantee” feel about Ruskin Bond.
More than the normal short stories that he wrote, I liked his essays. I would call these “personal essays”, as RKNarayan said. Actually, I began to see some similarities between Bond and Narayan. Both of them write in simple language and about simple things in life. Both of them are not boring, normally. 🙂 Ofcourse, the only difference is that I am never tired of RKN. But, sometimes, I don’t feel like reading some of Ruskin Bond’s pieces. Some appear not interestingly written for me… However, Ruskin Bond is also this kind of author, whom you can pick up at any point of time and just spend your idle hours peacefully and with atleast some smiles.
As I read through the different pieces of Bond, I was tempted to draw a couple of inferences about Ruskin Bond-the person and Ruskin Bond-the writer (I seriously doubt that the line of difference is quite thin as I have this f eeling that he wrote largely from his personal experiences). Ofcourse,
caution: these inferences might turn in to autobiographical comparisions as the number rises. 😉
1. More than the short-stories, Bond’s essays are more attractive and more absorbing to read (The inherent gossipper that I am, I might be biased in saying this, as these are personal essays..;))
2. “The tales of the macabre”, though are only 5 or 6 in number, were also very impressively written.
3. I don’t understand the fun in keeping so many “excerpts”. (Perhaps, I am not made to read such excerpts..)
4. Bond’s style is simple and uncomplicated. Themes are also simple and uncomplicated. Ideal stuff for idling weekends.
5. His Travelogues are too formally written for his style.
6. Bond is a nature lover and a walk-lover (I like this band of nature-walk lovers….I am also one of them, though not as much a traveller as them).
7. Bond is a serious book-lover. (I too want to put myself in to this category… so, since our tastes match, we are of one kind…heehee)
8. Bond loves life at a leisurely pace. (I too would love to, but, I can’t afford!)
Finally, this weekend with Ruskin Bond left me inspired to write a couple of blog posts (Which, if time permits, will appear soon), made me realise the similarities between RKN and Bond, made me understand Bond, the person and his life style and finally, left me with a satisfaction that I read an enjoyable book. Ruskin Bond is certainly not in my list of all-time favourites (Though, I would still keep RKN in the list.). But, then, I can’t help liking some of his writings…and wouldn’t perhaps mind a second reading of some of his essays and vignettes. I would also love to read more of his brand of “horror” stories.