Unlike today when there were less modes of entertainment, children of that era took immense pride in playing with the non-harmful insects like butterfly, grasshopper, and beetles. The Big Race is one such short story by Ruskin Bond where some children put their beetles for a race.
The narrator has a bamboo beetle called Maharani, caged in a cupboard box stuck to an apple. Anil’s black rhino beetle is called as Black Prince, and Kamal’s beetle is ordinary but it has a long pair of whiskers (people suspect it as a cockroach but it isn’t that). These three beetles are the prominent racers of this story.
The racecourse was about six feet long made of cardboard and lanes are separated by the walls to avoid intermingling. When the race commences, Anil and Kamal’s beetles lead the race while the narrator’s beetle is slow because from it the apple has been snatched away. However, things turn out something else by the time race could end. The winner is Maharani. The winner gets prizes in the form of marbles and some cash. These types of sports were quote common among the kids of 1980s and 90s. Though it is a plot less story but for sure it can transport some of the readers back to their childhood days where they must have done something crazy like this.