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Book Review: Getting Granny’s Glasses by Ruskin Bond

Getting Granny’s Glasses is a short story by Ruskin Bond based on the tender relationship between maternal grandmother and her grandson Mani, an eleven-year old boy. His mother passed when he was one year old. Since then, Mani and his father are both under the care of grandma. She is seventy but performs all the chores of home as she is a young energetic girl. She has blurred vision but is able to make out roads to the home and other objects of need in the kitchen and elsewhere.

Though she dons a pair of glasses but they are well over ten years. The pair is dull because of spots and scratches. Mani and his father have been forcing her to replace the glasses but she is hesitant to do that. If she goes with his father then Mani will be left behind and with the second proposition she thinks that Mani is too young to accompany her till the eye hospital in Mussoorie.

Major difficulty is how to travel till Mussoorie, which is the only nearest place from their village for an eye hospital. First they have to travel on foot till Nain – approximately ten miles and then to Mussoorie by bus, another twelve miles. Despite all odds, Mani agrees to company her. They set on the journey with a heart for adventures. After a night’s overstay in Nain, they pursue their journey on a bus. However, soon the bus is stuck owing to landslide. Either they can go back or hike another ten miles till Mussoorie. They prefer to walk through the mountains till they reach Mussoorie. There they face a few problems as they were being short on cash but somehow they manage and get the new pair of glasses for granny. Before coming back they shop and granny enjoys the scenic beauty of the hills as she is able to see everything quite clearly.

Like many other stories of Ruskin Bond, this story discusses the level of difficulties that hill people undergo for procuring basic things like hospital, medicines, normal shopping and so on. The story is also of the opinion that bonding and relationship among hill people are deep and substantial – not shallow like the people of plain.


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