In the novel ‘The Blue Umbrella’ by Ruskin Bond we see that Binya obtains a beautiful blue umbrella by exchanging her leopard’s claw with some city picnickers. Her blue umbrella is so beautiful that almost everyone in the village is jealous of her. They say that this kind of stuff is often carried by Mem-Sahibs, and it does not suit to a village girl like Binya.
Coming to Ram Bharosa, his name means ‘Ram the trustworthy’. He is a shopkeeper, probably middle-aged, not very old. He runs a tea shop on Tehri road, but he also sells curd, soft-drinks, toffees and so on, mainly food items. Once a day, a bus halts by his shop and passengers drink tea or slurp curd. By all means, he is the richest man in the village. However, at the same time he is greedy too. He often let people or students take items on credit and at the time of calculation, he charges them extra and when they can’t pay he snatches some of their valuable stuff for his personal use or to sell at his shop.
However Binya and her brother Bijju do not fall prey to his antics. They are cautious of him. Ram Bharosa is greedy for the blue umbrella, he wants to have it; thus he offers a price of twelve rupees to Binya but to no avail. Whenever he sees Binya passes by the shop, he tries to lure her but to no avail. He becomes sad upon his status. Soon after monsoon he keeps a boy named Rajaram from a neighboring village as an assistant at is shop. Rajaram being extra-smart promises him to steal the umbrella for him at the cost of three rupees. To this Ram Bharosa, agrees hesitatingly.
Contrary to their plan, while stealing the umbrella he gets caught up. The word spread in the village that Ram Bharosa tried to have that umbrella forcibly, with unethical methods. People stopped coming to his shop, as in the hills honesty is one of the most rewarded virtues, and he offended it. Children teased him by saying – the trustworthy thief.
Upon seeing Ram Bharosa’s miserable state, Binya decides to help him. Thus, one day she gifts him the umbrella and walks away. This helps in improving his image in the village. To return this favour, Ram Bharosa gets made a pendant of bear’s claw and gifted her, which is considered even more lucky than that of leopard or tiger.
In the end, we see that it is Binya’s compassion and kindness that help Ram Bharosa regain his small business of shop. On the other hand, learning the lesson from the small girl Binya, Ram Bharosa gets back on the track of honesty.
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