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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, they have three tiny terraced fields, on which they grow potatoes, onions, ginger, beans, mustard and maize. They don’t sell the vegetables in the market but keep it for themselves. They also have two cows and the extra milk they sell to others. Self-sustenance is their primary objective of life, not money making. Binya’s brother Bijju goes to school. Sadly, she doesn’t go to any school; instead she looks after the two cows: Neelu and Gori.

Binya loves wandering over the mountains and in the distant valleys. She isn’t afraid of darkness, forests, and climbing the trees. She loves freedom as well, thus whenever cows go out with her, she never yells at them nor restrain them going here and there. In fact, she seems lost in herself.

One day when she comes across some picnickers from the city, she realizes that city people have different kind of lifestyle and happiness. They are wealthy and possess good items, like blue umbrella. It is sad to note that city people regarded her as a poor girl because she was wearing torn clothes. She looks at them from a distance – it means she doesn’t like being with people. Often hilly people don’t prefer mingling in the crowd. Also, she feels nervous when she is at bazaar. Binya isn’t greedy: that we can say when city people tried to buy her tiger-claw pendant for five rupees. Instead she chose to have that blue umbrella for that tiger-claw pendant.

Another aspect of Binya is that she is a kind-hearted person. She allows the children of the village to hold her umbrella for a short while. At one instance when Bijju offers her berries, she lets him hold the blue umbrella. One windy evening when her umbrella gets carried away by the wind into a ravine, she carefully with a good presence of mind follows it and gets it out from the cherry tree. Evidently, she wasn’t afraid of anything.

Her relationship with Ram Bharosa, the tea-shop owner, goes sour when he tries to contain her blue umbrella by an unfair way. After that incident Ram Bharosa’s shop business declines and Binya feels responsible for his loss. She reproaches herself for flaunting the umbrella over-the-limit and it caused greed in Ram Bharosa. Hence, she gifts the blue umbrella to him, so that people can again start coming to his shop.

Coming to her looks, Binya is fair, stout, and sturdy with black hair and eyes. She sports a tiny ponytail. Though Binya is an ordinary girl, like most of the children her age, but her virtues like compassion and kind-heartedness and boldness makes her stand out from the crowd.

Read the full summary of the novel The Blue Umbrella here:


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