Skip to main content

Book Review: Untouchable by Ruskin Bond

Untouchable by Ruskin Bond is a short story throwing light on the social division based on the caste system in India. Ruskin is alone in his house because his father has fallen sick due to malaria and got admitted in the hospital. The kids in the neighborhood don’t like him and vice versa. Thus, he doesn’t play with them or they with him. He remains alone and aloof. To help him in the house work, there is a sweeper boy who routinely sprinkles water on the window and doormats to keep the house air cool. Ruskin describes the sweeper boy of his age, around ten. He remains in khaki knickers, upper body bare and brunt with the sun, and naked feet. He is extremely black but his teeth are white.



His main job is to fetch water from the water tank and sprinkle water around the homes during summer. Also, performs other homely chores. Every time he sees Ruskin, the boy shows his full white teeth. Ruskin feeling odd and irritated always shouts at him and says, ‘Get out’. Since Ruskin is a son of a sahib, in fact all the sons of Sahibs are not allowed to mingle up with the children of sweeper, ayahs, cooks and whosoever belongs to the servant homes.

Since Ruskin is alone, he is afraid of darkness, especially sleeping in the darkness. One night before sleep, upon seeing a centipede on the wall, he screams and jumps on his bed in fear. The sweeper boy comes immediately, takes one of the books from his table, and kills the centipede instantly. After that he smiles and goes back to the servant quarter. Soon after he is gone, the wind outside becomes fierce and thunderclap occurs regularly. Ruskin is growing scared – even the susurration of wind is causing a strange and horrible scratching on his windowpane. Unable to control anymore, he runs hither thither and enters the room of the sweeper boy. There they both sit down quietly – Ruskin notices the deplorable condition of the room and commiserates with his life. When the thunder claps strike, the sweeper boy says that monsoon has arrived. Then they both smile at each other. Arrival of monsoon is good news for the hardworking sweeper boy. Henceforward, he will not be sprinkling water on others door and window mats. It is worth noting that both children are of same age but they can’t play together, can’t stay in the same house, one is a school goer whereas the other is his servant. The message with this story is strong: social discrimination.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Poem Summary: Where The Mind Is Without Fear by Rabindranath Tagore

Poem by Rabindranath Tagore: Where the mind is without fear and the head is held high Where knowledge is free Where the world has not been broken up into fragments By narrow domestic walls Where words come out from the depth of truth Where tireless striving stretches its arms towards perfection Where the clear stream of reason has not lost its way Into the dreary desert sand of dead habit Where the mind is led forward by thee Into ever-widening thought and action Into that heaven of freedom, my Father, let my country awake. Short Summary: This poem is written by Rabindranath Tagore during pre-independence days, when India was a colony of the British. The underlying theme of the poem is absolute freedom; the poet wants the citizens of his country to be living in a free state. According to the poem, we see that the poet is expressing his views there should be a country, like where people live without any sort of fear and with pure dignity…they should

Book Review: The Blue Umbrella by Ruskin Bond

Among all Ruskin Bond books, The Blue Umbrella has, so far, gathered immense applaud from readers and critics alike.  This is a short novel, but the kind of moral lessons it teaches to us are simply overwhelming. This is a story of Binya, a poor little girl living with her mother and an elder brother, Bijju, in a 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 well-groomed and rich. 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 fo

Character Sketch of Binya from ‘The Blue Umbrella’ by Ruskin Bond

The Blue Umbrella by Ruskin Bond is a popular children’s story. It features Binya as the main character, though there are other important characters as well, but the story revolves around Binya and her little beautiful umbrella. The story is widely popular among children, thus it has also been included in the schools’ syllabus all across the country. Since it is often taught in the school, thus the character sketch of Binya is often demanded by students from year to year. Character Sketch of Binya from The Blue Umbrella by Ruskin Bond Binya is the main character of the novel ‘The Blue Umbrella’ by Ruskin Bond. Her full name is Binyadevi. As in the hills or anywhere in India it is a kind of trend to call children with their short nicknames. Binya’s elder brother’s name is Bijju, whereas his real name is Vijay. Binya aged eleven is a hilly girl. She lives with her small family in the hills of Garhwal. Her father died when she was two years of age. For sustenance, the