एक बुक जर्नल: The Sensualist by Ruskin Bond

Monday, July 4, 2016

The Sensualist by Ruskin Bond

Rating: 2.5/5
Read on June 18th,2016

Edition Details:
Format : Paperback
Page Count: 103
Publisher: Penguin



First Sentence :
This range is bare and rocky, with steep hillsides suddenly rearing up in front of the tired, discouraged traveller.

The narrator is on his way to Kapila, an ancient city where in old times sages used to visit, when he looses his way and comes across a recluse sitting in front of a cave. The presence of a man in such a remote place interests him and intrigued by him he goes to meet him. The recluse, claims, that it was his will that had forced the narrator to lose his way and come to meet him. He then tells him his story as to how he came renounce the world and started living as a recluse.
What was the story? Why did the narrator wanted to go to Kapila for? Did the narrator got what he wanted?

This is the second work of Ruskin Bond that i have read. I had read Delhi is not far by him a few months back. Both of these work have one thing in common that these are literature for mature readers and not children,with whom i usually associated writings of Mr Bond.
If i have to talk about this book then i would say that it was an okay read for me. It's short and i finished in couple of hours.
It's a story of a man who thinks he has power to control people and make them do whatever he wants. He uses that power on women and thus carries out his flings with them. In other words he thinks he dominates them , but then a incident occurs in his life and he feels that his gift is drained out. And he ends up being a recluse.


The book is in the form of a narration within narration. The narrator looses his way and meets the recluse who in turn narrates his story. Now, we don't know whether the story told by the recluse is true or not. We are not shown that. There are times in the starting that narrator feels that the ascetic is delusional but then he doesn't thinks much on these lines. The narrator it seems is also searching for someone and he in the believes that what led to the downfall of The sensualist would led to his upliftment. 

These was one good thing though, and it was that narrator mentions mandwa, which used to be staple bread in most Garhwali homes. Now a days it's seldom made. Anyways i felt good it was mentioned here which lends a credibility to the author and then he has lived all his life in Mussoorie so he must be aware of local cuisines.
I don't know why this story was written as there is no definite end to it.The author in the introduction mentions that the recluse is a part of him and in that way the things that The sensualist says he's done may be what the author had desired he could do. I think most men would have dreamt of doing that. We all have that fantasy that the woman of our dreams acts and behaves the way we want her to and if we come across her and find out that she is assertive then it would scare most of us. But then we tend to overcome that because without the assertiveness our woman of dreams wouldn't be what she is. Such is not the case with the protagonist.
In the end i would just say that it was a decent read. I would have liked if the author would have shown us the story with various viewpoints. The story to me felt incompelte as it left many questions unanswered. We don't know what happens to the narrator when he reaches Kapila. There are many directions in which the story can progress. Was The sensualist story real or it was rants of a delusional man? If it was true , then did the narrator got what he was searching for?
So, would i recommend it. If you are fan of Ruskin bond then you should go for it. It has a slightly dark tone to it as the protagonist is not your usual good guy. But if you haven't read Ruskin bond then i don't think this is the one with which you should start.

If you have read the book then do tell what were your thoughts about it. If you have read Mr Bond's other work then i would love if you would recommend some. And if you haven't read the book and want to read it then you can get it from the following link:
Amazon




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