Skip to main content

Book Review: The Eyes of the Eagle by Ruskin Bond

Jai comes to his grandparents’ home up in the valley to while away the October holiday. He loves reading books as well as roaming across the jungles in the hills.


At his grandparents’ home, his main task is to take the cattle out for grazing. And to accompany him, is a shaggy, bear-like dog, because of his size Jai and others call him Motu.

The valley in which they take their cattle for grazing is recently terrorized by two big golden eagles. The eagles keep watch on their prey and when things are set they attack silently. Their preparation seldom leaves a way for any error. Pheasants, foxes, snow-cocks, pine martens, and lambs so far have been their victims. The eagles rule the sky – they are bold and equally fearless. And only a skilled hunter can reduce them to ashes. So one day when he was not so careful, busy gathering strawberries, the eagle taking the advantage of the situation attacks a tiny lamb and flies away it. Jai and Motu realizing the horror and loss run after the eagle but to no avail.

Next time when the eagle tries to pick the lamb up, Motu comes to the rescue instantly. The collision between the dog and the eagle was terrific – both receive grave wounds. The lamb has been saved but Motu receives a serious wound in his leg. Jai calls for help – his grandfather and other shepherds come and take away the injured Motu while Jai herds the cattle home.

Without Motu, Jai finds it tough to keep the cattle safe from the eagles. So, his grandfather gifts him a robust stick made of cherry wood. Next time the second eagle comes to pick up a lamb – it is as tall as Jai and its spread wings stretch up to eight feet wide. Jai faces it face to face, its strong talon ripped through the jacket. Jai sweeps the cherry wood stick; it strikes the eagle as an upshot it shrieks out a shrill cry. However, Jai loses the stick from his hand and takes the shelter beneath a thorny bush with the lamb in his hands. He again shouts for the help and this time once again many people, including his grandmother and the injured Motu, reach in time to cover him.

The insights of the hill people and the little troubles that fill them are wonderfully covered in this short story. Ruskin Bond is a master writer when it comes to portraying the Himalayan people and their cultures in which they remain engrossed and intact. The Eyes of the Eagle is superbly written – fantastically high on adventure.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Book Review: The Blue Umbrella by Ruskin Bond

Binya is a poor little girl living with her mother and an elder brother, Bijju, in a very small hilly village of Garhwal. One day while herding her two cows back home, she stumbles upon some city people enjoying the picnic in the valley. She is enthralled to see them rich and well-groomed. She craves to be one like them and among many other things of their, a blue frilly umbrella catches her attention. She begins craving for it. On the other hand, the city people get attracted by her innocent beauty and the pendant in her neck. The pendant consists of leopard’s claw – which is considered a mascot widely in the hills. Binya trades her pendant off with the blue umbrella.

The blue umbrella is so much beautiful that soon it becomes a topic of conversation for villagers and children adore her umbrella so much that every time they feel like to touch or hold it. Binya is on seventh heaven and rarely closes it because she believes it looks charming when it is opened.
Ram Bharosa runs a smal…

Sparrows by K. A. Abbas – A Story about Hidden Kindness

K. A. Abbas was a master at writing short stories, presumably influenced by O. Henry. His work presents a different picture of India and is mainly based on humanity. He was the contemporary writer of that colonial India when the cinema used to run in black and white. Reading K.A. Abbas means exploring the old culture of India.
‘Sparrows’ is a brilliant short story. Once, the story ‘Sparrows’ was conscripted in the world’s best stories along with ‘The Lost Child’, written by Mulk Raj Anand.
A bit about Sparrows
Rahim Khan, the protagonist, is a stolid figure, almost devoid of emotions. He lives alone and the whole village is fearful of him because he brutally beats children and men on slightest pretexts. With time, he has grown so obtrusive and rough that streaks of humanity have left him. Why is he like that?
During the magnificence of his youth there was no one who could compete with him in the wrestling and other sports. It's his deepest desire to join Circus folk. In addition …

Book Review: Godan by Munshi Premchand

Like many other poor peasants Hori too wants to own a cow in a hope to elevate his puny social status to some height of self-importance. Much opposite to his circumstances, he purchases a cow at a debt of 80 rupees. However, things spiraled out of his control when he tries to cheat his younger brother, Heera, by 10 rupees. This haggle causes a huge fight between Dhaniya (Hori’s wife) and Heera’s wife. Heera poisons the cow and runs away to avoid being caught by the Police.

To settle down the cow’s death matter, Hori takes some loan from a moneylender and bribes the police. On the other hand, Gobar (Hori’s son) has an affair with a widow Jhunia. When Jhunia is pregnant with his child, Gobar runs away to the city to escape the wrath of the villagers. But then Jhunia is taken into care by Hori and his family. Because of Jhunia’s issue, the village Panchayat orders Hori to pay a penalty amount for his son’s deeds. Thus, Hori again takes the loan from moneylenders. As the debt increases o…