Thursday, 16 February 2017

White Clouds, Green Mountains - Book Review


Living in the hills was like living in the bosom of a strong, sometimes proud, but always comforting mother. When you have received love from people and the freedom that only mountains can give, then you have come very near the borders of Heaven. Ruskin bond says in the opening story Mother Hill in this collection called White Clouds, Green Mountains.

The following write ups Song of the Whistling Thrush, Visitors from the Forest and Monkey on the roof are about the birds, insects and animals who entered the author's room in Mussorie, where he wrote his stories on his typewriter. In Trees by my Window he speaks of the vegetation in the mountains.

Travels with my Bank Manager is about the travels in the forest with this colourful manager. This story with a tinge of humour brings back the banking era when there were no computers and the manager had to borrow the author's typewriter for bank audits. A Long Story shows how adults weave stories to entertain the children. In Binya Passes by the author in his own words look back on love of long ago.

Road to Badrinath is a travelogue which depicts the journey, faith and the people of the mountains very well. The story In Search of Sweet Peas is all about a school boy's innocence and adventure. The Wind on the Haunted Hill is about children who are lost in a haunted hill. The Night the Roof Blew Off shows the harsh life of people living amidst the beautiful mountains. The Last Truck Ride is about an old Truck driver who is in the habit of driving fast and what happens when a stray mule suddenly appears before him. In And Now We Are Twelve the author narrates his tryst with the legal system when he wrote a slightly risque story. He says he is not the most inventive of writers, and fantastical plots are beyond him. His forte is observation, recollection and reflection. The School among the Pines again depicts the hard life of children in the mountains who have to walk through the forests, which are inhabited by man-eaters.

Ruskin Bond never disappoints you. With his vivid descriptions of the mountains and interesting character sketches, he makes you feel good and this book is no exception to it. This book is actually a compilation of the author's earlier published works. Unfortunately like other books of Ruskin Bond recently published by Rupa, there are typographical mistakes in the book. If those are ignored, this is a nice collection.


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