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Editorial – Sreetanwi Chakraborty

Sunday Talks Editorial

As we approach yet another Sunny (scorching to be extreme, I have a sentiment to tamper with the editorial parlance every time!), we realize how we have learnt to live with the pandemonium associated with the pandemic. The month of May could not have been more productive, it could not have been so impactful! Just after we paid our homage to the euphoric love poems, song offerings and delved deeper into the profound philosophical impact that Tagorean perspective has on our lives, it is again the time to celebrate yet another ‘writer par excellence’ for the month of May. Ruskin Bond (Born 19th May, 1934) was never institutionalized; he always had his benign footsteps, stories and slices of life that were meant to be deconstructing the restricted zones that we view literature to be.
He is surely not just the writer whose writings can be compartmentalized only as ‘children’s literature’. The typical Anglo-Indian lifestyle, a colonial shroud encapsulating the post 1910 India and the clusters and segments of a parallel story through the labyrinthine mazes of the Indian mountainscapes- the readers have surely been ‘bonding with the best.’ Our Trees Still Grow in Dehra transcends the boundaries of just a mere narration, and becomes a study in nostalgia, autobiography and cohesion of some of the most picturesque moments discovered on the native soil. The flair of his writing and the fine blend of uniqueness and innovation gifted him with prestigious awards and accolades including the Sahitya Akademi Award in 1992, and the John Llewellyn Rhys Prize in 1957, given to a British Commonwealth writer under 30. Bond’s Words from my Window thus becomes a succinct retrieval of all the memories in Delhi, in Landour and time as frozen in a specific segment. Pigeons on the window sill, car horns, children on the streets, Petunias, Zinnias, all create a cohesive pattern with his other works like Angry River, Looking for the Rainbow and Lone Fox Dancing, his autobiography. What A.C. Ward has deftly pointed out about the world of fiction can be most appropriately applied to the works of this master story-teller:
“It is not a fairy tale or ‘wholly and solely means of relaxation’, a harmless opiate for vacant hours and vacant minds.”
Bond creates characters who struggle and survive, who participate in the merriment of life, and become the real, real, real-time colourful ingredients in the fine delicacy of life.
Keep reading, Happy Sunday!
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