A Song of Many Rivers
Author: Ruskin Bond
Publisher: Rupa Publications India
Publication Date: 11 November 2016
Pages: 132 pages
“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’. Some of them fall under the category of travelogues.
The central theme of this book is rivers and most of these rivers 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 known to be life givers and have been around for more than a thousand years. Along with their waters, they are also a source of folklore, legends and stories, which themselves are more than centuries if not millenniums old. The book covers his stories written on, about and around rivers.
From Bhagirathi and Alaknanda to Mandakini and Suswa, Ruskin Bond quite beautifully captures the essence of these rivers and the people who thrive on its waters. Having lived a major part of his life in mountains, rivers have formed an integral part of Ruskin’s narration across his writing.
Rivers flowing through the Himalayas, the picturesque view of the nature can prove to be pleasantly daunting to the eye. This is what this book serves you with!
The main theme of this book is the rivers - 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 Himalayas enriches lives and have been there for over a thousand years.
The range of stories in this collection makes it fascinating and engrossing. 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’. The mention of ‘Sacred Shrines’ takes us on the 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 simple and yet it explains us so much. He shreds the use of complicated words. The Author gives us a little description of each place he visits therebt informing the readers with live experiences through his words.
These tales and narratives about these beautiful, majestic rivers in this collection are some of the 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.