एक बुक जर्नल: Delhi is not Far by Ruskin Bond

Friday, April 1, 2016

Delhi is not Far by Ruskin Bond

Rating : 3/5
Read between 22nd March 2016 to 23rd March 2016

Edition Details:
Format : Paperback
Page Count: 111
Publisher : Penguin Books



First Sentence:
My balcony is my window on the world.

Arun is a struggling writer living in Pipalnagar. The lives in big cities may be exciting but in Pipalnagar every day is like another day. Arun makes his end meet by writing thrillers in urdu although he has a dream of writing a real book based on real characters. The reader is introduced to various characters through Arun.
There is Deep Chand, the barber, Pitamber,the rickshaw puller, Aziz, owner of junk shop, who all dream to go to Delhi for better prospects like Arun. But Arun knows for them this will not be true. Apart from these
Arun has found a companion in Suraj and a friend in Kamla,a local sex worker. As the book progresses we get to see the relationship developing between this trio.

How will the relationship between Arun, Suraj and Kamla evolve?
Will Arun be able to move to Delhi and fulfill his dreams?
And if he fulfills his dream how will this affect the relationship between these three?



Delhi is not far was a good read for me. It was first published in 1960 and therefore has a feel of that era. People like me who have spent a large chunk of their life in a small town, would find Pipalnagar a strange place. There are somethings that i could relate to but some things i couldn't. It may be because my town is a small hill station while Pipalnagar is a industrial town situated near Merut.
Ruskin Bond's portrayal of small town and their characters will evoke feeling of nostalgia in people who have lived in that time and that type of town.
Arun's feeling towards a town like Pipalnagar is shown clearly by the following lines:

One should live either in a city or in a village. In a village,everyone knows you intimately. In a city, no one has the slightest interest in you. But in town like Pipalnagar, everyone knows you, nobody loves you; when you die, you are forgotten; while you live, you are only a subject for malicious conversation.

Although, this seem to be a little extreme(as i have lived in small town) but seems to true to a certain extent for a mohalla in a small town.
If you are looking for a story then you may get disappointed, but if you like to experience a slice of life of people in a  small town then you'll like it. The book beautifully represents the cultural ethos of places like Pipalnagar. It beautifully shows the people the way people live there and the dreams of those people. They have aspirations but they are small like for Deep Chand it's a better saloon, for Pitamber it's ownership of a auto rickshaw and so on.

Some quotes from the book:

Everyone  is waiting for the cool,quenching relief of the monsoon. But two months from now, when roofs have fallen in, the road is flooded, and the drinking water contaminated, we will be cursing the monsoon and praying for its speedy retreat.

'I wondered why God ever bothered to make men, when he had the whole wide beautiful world to himself,' I said to Suraj one summer night. 'Why did he find it necessary to share it with others?'
'Perhaps he felt lonely,' said Suraj.

This was my first Ruskin Bond and.now i want to read other books by him. If you have read this book, what were your feelings regarding that. And if you have read other works by Mr bond, please recommend other works by the author. If you haven't read the book you could get it from following link:
Amazon

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