Author: Ruskin Bond
Personally, I have not been a great reader of fiction. In recent times I have begun to realise that I must be missing a large part of a writer’s imaginative world. In an attempt to get closer to reading fiction, I decided to move from what I normally read (business and management) to general non-fiction. As a first step I decided to read the non-fiction work of an author who is successful at fiction. So when I found some works of Ruskin Bond under the non-fiction category I decided to give it a shot.
This collection of essays lives up to what Ruskin Bond says “It is the simple things in life that keeps us from going crazy”. This small book of fewer than 180 pages is unputdownable. Every essay is an independent piece not connected to the others around. There is no attempt by the author to provide connectivity. This I think makes the book even more interesting, even more gripping. While I attempted to race through the book with interest and enthusiasm, there were many points when I would stop and look up at the trees and the skies in wonderment. I asked myself many times through the book, how on earth did I miss so much all around? I suddenly realised sitting in my balcony in the heart of the city, that there were thirteen different types of leaves around. And this was only the start. My early tryst with non-fiction, especially with Ruskin Bond has made me become aware about the millions of simple things around me that I should become aware about.
Being a voracious reader and a bibliophile I enjoyed the essays: ‘ A book lover’s lifelong hunt’, ‘Read and get well’, ‘Bibliophiles and Book worms’. The essays ‘A Good Philosophy’, ‘Lonely or Alone’ and ‘Solitude’ spoke to my spiritual self. As an author and one who enjoys the process of writing there were numerous essays that served as inspiration and encouragement. Especially the one’s around describing the room, the view and the importance of a window were thoughtful and in a subtle way directional. Overall an easy read, well packaged as a book with deep meaning.
The write-up ‘Love Your Art’ was personally my favourite which I think I would be going back to a number of times. I am tempted to share this quote from that write-up which could serve as an inspiration to read the book “Love the art, poor as it may be, which thou hast learned, and be content with it; and pass through the rest of life like one who has entrusted to the gods with his whole soul and all that he has, making thyself neither the tyrant nor the slave of any man.”-Marcus Aurelius (121-180 A.D)