DELHI IS NOT FAR by Ruskin Bond – Book Review

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The world we live in is the only world we know – the cities. We perceive its beauty as the only beauty possible. You, reading this, probably thinking the place you live in, the urban surroundings, is the most beautiful. But, even in the rustic and idyllic surroundings of villages, lurks beauty – beauty that is not ostentatious like the urban but one, which can only be felt through experience.

Ruskin Bond, in this novella of his, takes us into an imaginary village Pipalnagar, he had conjured through experiencing life in various villages of North India, and into the lives of people who think and act simple, who find love and beauty in the simplest ways and things of poor lives, modest yet fervent dreams. The novella is written in first person format and the first person is a young and poor author of short crime and mystery stories living in the village who’s life is affected in the sweetest ways by the daily perfunctory activities of his, the people’s and the village’s.

The story is narrated in a very terse way giving it a poetic sense. Various characters who appear in the story are poor and humble people who are connected to the village. Inter alia, Bond narrates the nature in a way that makes all the life the nature holds come out freshening the reader. The hills he talks about, the nights, the trees and their each unique meanings, all leave the reader wanting more of the book.

It is a simple story of people who live simple lives but a story that identifies the sweetness and the love that rests calm in those lives. Various daily events and activities are described of these villagers, which the reader definitely has experienced once which don’t fail to make him nostalgic. On the whole, Delhi Is Not Far is an epitome of beauty and love and nature. A book that every person susceptible to beauty will cherish for his lifetime.

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