Skip to main content

Book Review: Listen to the Wind by Ruskin Bond

Listen to the Wind by Ruskin Bond is short story covered in the book: Rusty Comes Home. Listen to the Wind explores the mysteries associated with Pari Tibba, a famous hill top in Mussoorie where the narrator lives.

As the narrator says the month of March is considered unpleasant in the hills because it brings torrential rain with cold wind. One evening he goes to one of his neighbor's cottage, Mrs. Pettibone, an old lady who was lying in her bed with three hot water bottles to her company since there was no fireplace lit at her home and the chimney was silent.

As they both converse, the weather outside turns horrendous and scary. It is raining in torrents, and the occasional thunderstorm lightning is provoking fear in their hearts.

Mrs. Pettibone says that Pari Tibba - meaning burnt hill is a haunted place - whosoever goes there for settlement dies of lightning. To prove her point, she begins narrating the story of Robert.

Robert was a young Englishman of around eighteen, born in India. His parents wanted him to settle down in England. Since he loved vagrancy in the forest, thus one day he heard a distant singing voice of a girl. He chased that voice in the hilly forests for days and found that it was a local girl.

He followed her a few more times and soon they fall in love. He was a charming guy and the girl loved his decency, since he didn’t try to ravish that lone girl in the forested ways. However, an Englishman marrying a local hilly girl was unacceptable in the unforgiving English society. He knew that his parents would do every possible thing to drive away that girl.

When he asked the girl's father for her hand, his father being inferior could not say either yes or no. Also, the man was from Brahmin caste and offering his girl to an Englishman means getting ostracized from his society. Clearly, he was against their love affair but did not say anything, as then locals did not have temerity to raise voice against the Whites.

Having understood their plight, Robert and that girl decide to run away from home. The night they ran away, there was tremendous rain and following the lightning from the sky. They seeking a shelter arrive at the Pari Tibba on which was built a ruined building. When they hid in, a thunder lightning from the sky fell upon them. In the morning their charred bodies were recovered.

Since then it has been circulated that Pari Tibba is haunted and no one comes alive from there at night. After hearing the story, the narrator leaves for his cottage. In the morning, he visits Pari Tibba and goes to the building where the couple had died of lightning.

He stands there for a few moments, trying to listen to the voices of dead but instead he finds wind susurrating in the pine forests and that wind had a voice, probably of those lovers.


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…