The window is a screen and the world outside is a picture. This statement briefly sums up the theme of the short story ‘The Window’ by Ruskin Bond. The narrator takes a room on the roof of a long building. There are no other rooms on the roof; his room is the lone one. The beautiful thing about the room is its window. From the window, the narrator sees the world that lies out and far. He watches sunrise from there, and on the street down he observes people shuttling up and down, like passers-by, tongawallah, cycle-rickshaws, men, and children and so on. Just opposite the window, there is a huge banyan tree on which crows, mynahs, squirrels and other interesting insects live and fidget with each other.
After some days, an eleven-year-old girl called Koki comes to this place, possibly to while away the summer in the hill station. The narrator watches her from the window and says that there is magic in his room. She comes and then he made her watch the world of colors through the window. They become good friends, and she begins coming there every day. From there, they see the fight of birds, like between crow and mynah, children dancing in the rain, women collecting clothes from the line, etc. He says that from the window one can have interest in the world without getting involved. Also, a creep of bougainvillea is passing through the window. To this, Koki says that we cannot close the window as it will affect the growth of the plant. The narrator agrees with her and decides not to shut the window. When summer is over and Koki leaves for her hometown, the narrator, feeling the pain of separation, shuts the window by saying that it will be opened when Koki and summer come again.
The story is a short one, but it instills a powerful message that in life separation is a depressing element, people alter their course of action when confronted with it.