A Song of Many Rivers
Author: Ruskin Bond
Hardcover: 132 pages
Publisher: Rupa Publications India
Publication Date: 11 November 2016
Between the boy and the river was a mountain. The thickly forested mountain hid the river, but I knew it was there and what it looked like…I had heard of it, of the fish in its waters, of its rocks and currents and waterfalls and it only remained for me to touch the water and know it personally.
The snowy Himalayas, where the Bhagirathi, the Mandakini, and so many others arise, the towns and villages that lie by their banks, the legends and stories that are as immortal as these waters, all come alive in ‘A Song of Many Rivers’.
Rivers flowing through the Himalayan glaciers is an intriguing scene to experience. A Song of Many Rivers, is a compilation of such tales.
The main theme of this book is rivers and most of these rivers are the ones that originate in the northern part of India, in the scenic hills and mountains of Uttarakhand and Himachal. These rivers which originate in the upper reaches of the Himalayas are life-givers and have been around for more than a thousand years.
The sheer range of stories in this collection makes it damn interesting. Some of them fall under the category of travelogues. In the opening story, A Song of Many Rivers introduces us to the Himalayan rivers. The writer introduces us to the little-known tributaries like Suswa. Sacred Shrines Along the Way takes us on a tour of the famous panch badris and panch kedars.
At one instance, he introduces ‘River’ as:
“The river stops being a river, it becomes a person; a force to be reckoned; a goddess to be feared; a bounty to be worshipped; a lover to be loved; a child to be cared for.”
Ruskin Bond’s writing style is rather simple and plain. He makes use of unique experiences rather than complicated words. Bond doesn’t stop at his trekking experiences but also goes ahead to give a little description of each place.
These tales and narratives about these beautiful, majestic, and beloved rivers in this collection are some of Ruskin Bond's most compelling river stories.
About the Author
Ruskin Bond was born in Kasauli in 1934. He grew up in Jamnagar, Dehradun, and Shimla, worked briefly in Jersey, London, and Delhi, and moved to Mussoorie in the early 1960s to write full time. One of India’s best-loved and most popular authors, Ruskin Bond has written over a hundred books of fiction, non-fiction, and poetry, including the best-selling classics Room on the Roof (winner of the John Llewellyn Rhys Prize), A Flight of Pigeons, The Blue Umbrella, Time Stops at Shamli, Night Train at Deoli, Our Trees Still Grow in Dehra (winner of the Sahitya Akademi Award) and Rain in the Mountains. He was awarded the Padma Shri by the Government of India in 1999 and the Padma Bhushan in 2014.