Rusty, the Boy from the Hills


The boy from the hills

Young Ruskin Bond and his writing

The most loved fictional character 'Rusty' is created by one of the celebrated storytellers Ruskin Bond. He unfailingly tries to uphold the importance of values in life and lives with optimistic hopes. His philosophy in life appears to be to look forward and search for newer adventures. Rusty embraces the flaws and failures, learns from his experiences, and he accepts the troubles as a turning point in his life and proceeds further towards independent growth.

It is the quality of subtly unraveling the emotions of insecurity, loss, dilemma, rejection, grief, longing, failure, or things that are hard enough to understand, are effortlessly and elegantly imbibed in Rusty. He is very much a real-life character and through his mundane stories that reflect our trivial yet beautiful lives, sparkled me. I see a bit of myself and my life in his.

He pays attention to minute details of everyday activities of life that encouraged me to make time for slight moments of pleasures. I learned to hear the chirping of a bird, hustling of wind and observe a wild flower blossoming in a creek. Now I gradually started appreciating life which drives me to live it to the fullest.

Bond’s writings are nostalgic in tone. The protagonist, Rusty is none other than a mirror image of the writer himself. He shares his feelings through his writing to show how he came up in life to become a writer.

I have often wept while reading his book. Not because I have fallen in love with the hero and he died, but because the words have touched my soul. He made me sob after the book ended. I have often felt agonized and pained by his piece of writing written to break my heart and have often broken into a wide shining smile.

I grew as a bright-winged butterfly who you have made to look beyond the big words and complicated sentences. I can now see things far more meaningful, the emotions behind his simple craft of writing which he has mastered.

I hadn’t grown up reading Bond. It was later as a teenager trying to make sense of life that I chanced upon his work in a newspaper article. It was also the first time I fell in love with reading. Until then, books were limited to academics, now they became intimate pals. And he became a constant companion in my life until today. I can easily say that my love-story with the hills and Bond’s works seeded my dream of living in the mountains. His books became my window to life in the mountains and even outside of them. His stories make me want to go back to simpler things. Living in a small home, carrying fewer material belongings, eating basic food and travelling in public transport.

Bond’s work has something for all the phases of life. A child reads his books with wonder and delight, exploring, imagining and eventually learning. A young adult sees the endless possibilities of life, the agony of a broken heart, the ecstasy of finding love in his writings. A grown-up reflects on the deep profoundness of his simple writing, a middle-aged reader laughs and cries now and then. And, amidst all this, a teardrop escapes our twinkling eyes.

“It isn't time that's passing by, it is you and I, it is you and I.”

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