What is 'On Being Indian' by Ruskin Bond about?
- Ruskin Bond spent a great deal of his childhood and growing up years in India.
- He got to travel to many places, experience the Indian way of life.
- His writing reflects a deep understanding of India's people and culture.
- In his essay, "On being an Indian", he explains his Indian identity, "Race did not make me one. Religion did not make me one. But history did. And in the long run, it's history that counts."
- He may not have been an Indian by birth, but he surely feels like one as he belongs to and shares our identity!
THE INDIA I LOVE is a short book made out from Ruskin Bond's diary pages written over a long
period of time.
Ruskin recounts his whole life in this book from his early childhood to when he was seventy.
Every chapter starts with a title and a small poem.
Ruskin's father was a teacher and he travelled all his boyhood to various parts of India
including Kerala and Kolkata, then settled to Bishop Cotton school in Shimla.His grandparents
from his mother's side were from Dehradun where they settled after retiring from a job in
railways.His mother remarried a Punjabi from Dehradun.This explains why he always lived in
Mussorie.I have not read many of his books in recent past, but now look forward to reading
some as he writes in a very candid way.
He went away to England when he grew up but returned to India where he was born to live
forever.He likes the atmosphere in India where there are no restrictions and he can live his
life as he wants, the only thing he wanted to ever do was writing and he never married but
has family of twelve as one Prem lived with his family with him.He writes about Prem's wife
and children and grandchildren.
He also recounts various acquaintances he met and formed relationships with them.He comes
out as a very kind, nature loving and honest person.
He describes areas around Dehradun in great detail like Nahan and Ganges etc.There is also some references to Jim Corbett and other Britishmen who have some historical importance in that geographical area.
I somehow liked the book very much and recommend it.Its very inspiring too.