Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Virtual Travel with Ruskin Bond!

With most schools in Bangalore closed for Dassera vacation, we are now  faced with the formidable task of managing both the kids at home from morning to night…..and life can’t get busier than this! Serves me right for earlier balking at my mommy-friends with two kids who complained of a similar mayhem when the older school-going kid has holidays! Though Abhay is too old to require constant supervision and my little one is yet to reach that stage (which she will very soon!), they are both needy in their own way! Though their worlds are poles apart and will be so in the years to come, there’s nothing worse than when their worlds collide! While my older one has warmed up to his baby sibling quite well, it is younger one who seemed to be slowly learning the ropes of surviving in this world, when it comes to being heard! So be it waking up to find herself all alone, or venting out her irritation over her brother’s  constant cuddling and kissing….she  already knows how to lodge her protest or make her presence felt!  As long as Abhay had school, there was a set routine in place with all attention being showered on the little one during the day only to have the older one reclaim it, once he returned home from school! Now that both are at home, it feels as if both of them are eating into each other’s space that  gives rise to a feeling of neither here nor there, leaving me with absolutely no space at all! J

Anyway, if there’s one thing that the new arrival has taken a toll on, it is with regard to travel and this is probably the first time that we’ve not been able to go on a trip during Abhay’s vacations. Of course Abhay is not thrilled at the idea of being home bound as he will have nothing to show off to his classmates, all of whom, according to him, have made grand travel plans during the Dassera break!    (Talk about peer pressure!) If we don’t act soon, Abhay has even threatened to squeeze himself into his grandparents’ travel plans to Himachal hills in November! Anyway, even we cannot join my parents, we can certainly vicariously visit the high altitude destinations by reading ….Ruskin Bond of course. We picked out his first children’s novel  titled “The Hidden Pool”, ideal for younger and middle level readers. Like any Ruskin Bond story, the story set in ten small chapters literally transports you to the land of beautiful mountain slopes, deep and hidden valleys. This is the story of Laurie who moves to a hill town along with his parents as his father is posted to India on work for two years. As he forges friendship with unlikeliest of people, given his English upbringing, Laurie finds himself drawn to the local people and their customs.Read on as Laurie narrates as to how his friends Anil and Kamal take him on many a memorable adventures from beetle races to midnight dips at the valley’s pristine pools, tedious treks to the Pindari glacier and their run-in with so called Abominable snow woman! Before he realizes, the two years fly past and Laurie finds that the town and the people have grown on him and saying goodbye is tougher than he thought!   More than the interesting events that take place during Laurie’s stay in the hill-town,  it’s Ruskin Bond’s vivid descriptions of the picturesque hills, simplicity of the people, uninhibited childhood experiences, lasting friendships between young boys of diverse backgrounds! A must read for everyone who loves Ruskin Bond’s writings! Why…Abhay doesn’t it feel as if we’ve traveled to a whole new world during these vacations....…thanks to Ruskin Bond ?? J

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