Skip to main content

Book Review: The Tunnel by Ruskin Bond

The Tunnel is a short story written by Ruskin Bond covered in the novella ‘The Road to the Bazaar’. Tranquility in nature and duty are two major themes nicely conveyed in this story. Suraj wants to see the train passing through the tunnel, hence he comes to a small village from Dehradun on a bicycle and from there he walks up to a hill mound. He stands at the exit of the tunnel and when the train enters and passes through and fades away in the distance, he feels the true peace of the jungle. When the train passes through the jungle, the trees tremble in the steam it throws out, the railway tracks lay shivering for some time.

He walks through the tunnel. At the entry is a hut in which lives Sunder Singh, the tunnel watchman, his duty is to check the tunnel before a train passes through it. He does it twice a day, one for the day train and next for the night train that crosses the tunnel at nine. Sunder tells that jungles are peaceful and safer than cities. He was almost run over by a motor when he went to the city last time. Suraj sees that there are no people and houses around his hut. Suraj asks him didn’t he feel afraid of darkness and wild animals. The watchman tells him that there lives a leopard around the hut who likes to pray on goats and dogs, but not on humans. They both see each other quite often.

Next evening Suraj comes to be with the watchman. Just before the night train, they both hear the sound made by the leopard. They have to run the leopard away to save its life. Both go inside with a lantern and an axe just in case it makes mind to attack them. When they shout inside the tunnel, there voice echoes in the tunnel as of hundreds of humans are there. As a result, the leopard flees away.

A week later when Suraj is traveling to Delhi with his father on the night train, he tries to make out the old man and his lantern and his hut, and soon he sees the lantern hanging outside the hut which means he has done his duty of checking the tunnel and retired for the night. Suraj feels gratitude for the watchman who strictly follows his duty for the sake of others and trains in which thousands of passengers exist.

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…