I love the way Ruskin Bond thinks, and the way he writes. I love how he weaves his stories about places, things and people that he sees around him. I love how he pays attention to the small things around him that people usually ignore. I love how he is charmed by nature. I love his romantic and old-world way of living life. I love the way he thinks with his heart and not his head. Naturally, reading a book by Ruskin Bond is a treat for me. It felt the same with his The India I Love.
The India I Love is a collection of essays by Bond, basically written for children. The essays cover different aspects of life in India – the land, the rivers, the trees, the mountains, the people, the children, and so on. Interspersed with the essays are Bond’s poems about life – some funny, some thoughtful and pensive. There are a lot of snippets about his own life in many of the essays – you can see how Bond became the person that he is. In short, The India I Love is a collection of thoughts that Bond has penned down as he ambles through life in the mountains leisurely, stopping now and then to inhale the fresh air and smell the roses.
This book, too, is written in Bond’s characteristic way, with a lot of attention to detail, with his own unique insight into things, with descriptions so vivid that you can see the people and places that he describes in your mind’s eye.
Reading The India I Love is like someone wrapping a fluffy, warm blanket around you when you are feeling cold and lonely in the night. It is a wonderful respite from books in which something is always happening, and you race through the pages to keep track of the events. This one is a slow-paced yet charming book, meant to be savoured slowly, one chapter after another.
Would I recommend it? Definitely a yes.