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Book Review: Song of the Whistling Thrush by Ruskin Bond

Song of the Whistling Thrush by Ruskin Bond is a short story covered in the book ‘White Clouds, Green Mountains’. The author is in awe with the nature that exists in the mountains. In this story, he shares one such story where he developed good bonding with a hill bird called Thrush. Hill people call that bird either Irstura or Kaljit. The writer often sees that bird and listens to her songs any time throughout the season. Most of the time he finds it flying around a stream. They often cross each other and have the presence felt.

When one of the water pipes of the writer’s house blocks and a puddle of water forms in the ground because of extra water, the bird takes chances to bathe in it and then suns herself on the tin roof of his home. He finds a queer melody in the voice of that bird. Prakash, the milk man, has a legend about this bird. The god Krishna fell asleep near a mountain stream, and while he slept, a small boy made off with his famous flute. On waking up and finding his flute gone, Krishna was so angry that he changed the culprit into a bird; but the boy had learnt some of Krishna’s wonderful music, and even as a bird he continued to whistle the music of gods.

After a year or so, the bird finds a mate and then they both sing turn by turn like lovers. The couple would sit around his cottage on the trees and sing for hours and the writer feels little disturbance while writing stories but then it is alright to be in the tune with the flow of nature.

An interesting point happens when the author returns home after spending fifteen days out of town, he sees that on the window sill an ugly nest and in it a few chickens of Thrush. The window is closed and if he opens the window, then the nest will fall down. So, he remains that window closed and rather opens another window of the room. Their chirping mixed with singing is now a disturbance for him, but he prefers to live with them. Bond shares an impeccable kind of bonding with nature; in his writing you will never feel bored of his gossiping about Mother Nature.


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