Monday, March 16, 2015

Book Review : A Book of Simple Living

Title : A Book of Simple Living
Author : Ruskin Bond
Publisher : Speaking Tiger

'The cosmos has all the genius of simplicity.'

Start reading first paragraph and one embarks on a journey into a world where time is no longer a constraining factor and where nature guides everything. Ruskin Bond offers a small peak into his routine and one gets to see the beauty in the simplicity of life. The way he describes his room and the window which opens into three different worlds - the mountains, the sky and the road - is fascinating. At least for the time when one is reading his words, one  gets transported to the same room amidst the same surroundings  - the never changing hills, the full of movement road and the author's preferred view, the sky. He feels the sky is never the same, it is always filled with beautiful hues from the divine palette.

As the much acclaimed author pays befitting tribute to nature, he subtly conjures the readers to acknowledge the presence of co-inhabitants of our mother earth, admiring their uniqueness and paying obeisance to the natural scheme of things. He shows us the side of the world and life which in the fast time-bound schedules, we are fast losing touch with. He talks about various flora and fauna that fill his life with colour, fragrance, music and liveliness. He has ample time - to listen to every natural sound, to drink in the scent of wild flowers and leaves and to observe tiny creatures minding their business.

'Live close to nature and your spirit will not be easily broken, for you learn something of patience and resilience. You will not grow restless and you will never feel lonely.'

He then talks about various other things, vicissitudes of life, his love and longing, his writings, how a new topic comes knocking at his door or through his window, the reassurance that one looks for at certain times and many memorable moments spent in the lap of nature. The narrative is abound with characters like cicadas, magpies, field mice, spiders, swallows, maidenhair fern, geraniums, marigolds, chrysanthemums, pines, oaks, walnut trees, tall deodars, maple, chestnut and many more names. There is a background score in the narrative which is sometimes bubbling mountain river, orchestra of crickets or rustling of leaves. The landscape keeps changing colours from pristine snow white, verdant green to riot of fall colours.

The simplicity of his life, his writing is just fascinating and one needs to read it to feel it, because he writes to connect. In his words, 'I want my readers to feel what I feel, to see what I see, and big words and big sentences come in the way of this sharing. It is clarity and honesty that I am striving to attain; there can be no lasting connection with my readers without these. And to be clear and open is to be simple.'

The reason why I cannot stop admiring the book is because it somehow aligns with my own feelings when I am close to nature. In the written words, I could actually read some of my own feelings that nature sparks
in me. While I get immersed in my daily routine, I often dream and long for - being in a wide open expanse of land adorned with verdure  or walking on a narrow pathway guarded by thick trees with huge canopies or driving on a thin serpentine road merging into the folds of mighty mountains or gazing at the endlessly stretched firmament to my heart's content or watching raindrops fall on the ground willingly accepting their new identity in unison with other companions. Just the thought of these bring in a deep sense of peace, perspective and a connection with someone supreme in every single entity.

Don’t let the beauty of the nature pass by unnoticed, unacknowledged and unregistered because it is the simplest and purest form of beauty. Let it tickle every sensory nerve of one's being. 


  1. Lovely to read the review. Have ordered this book and waiting for it !

  2. The last payt of the review almost made me cry as i could feel the depth of those lines. I am myself from the hills so I could feel the lines with great depth.


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