In the busiest market of a city, Mumbai, lies my body but the mind and soul find solace in Ruskin Bond’s world. A world of tongas, wet red soil, foothills of the Himalayas and Doon Valley, the momentary, strange and yet sweet encounters of love. Merely reading his heavenly stories make time go so peacefully, with its original pace, not cut by the fence of city time. And moments after you start visualizing his world, feeling it, living it, the mind games that fancy cities play on you are revealed. A competition enforced, and that without it we lose or such are the illusions the city blinds us with. But looking around I realize how lost we are already. Achievers are those small town simplicities of Yamunanagar, resident pilgrims of Rishikesh, non-competitive or rather self sufficient students from Mandi. The modesty of a few thousand characters in these towns reflect nature’s beauty, while we rush in and out of metros inquiring for a beautiful person. Referring to a rather short story of The Traveling Philosopher if I had to describe those four days in Uttarakhand by the minute I would end up writing a book, a book flawed with spirits of youth, love and devotion, something like Ruskin Bond himself but unable to match his originality. This is what these humble towns give you; the gift of wanting to be like them without taking offense. Unlike the cities drowned in their pride, yet looking to progress and become the next New York or Shanghai at the cost of virgin rivers and rising mountains.
My body is in a city which has its hands full and yet searches for purpose, the mind and soul in a satiated world of Ruskin Bond.