Last week I read The Best of Ruskin Bond and was once again left marveling at the simplicity of the author’s narrative style. There is nothing as refreshing as simplicity in telling a tale and Mr. Bond has mastered the art. His writing is like smoothly flowing water, so soothing that any restlessness in you is replaced by a gentle calm on reading him.
It is not just in writing, I am a huge fan of the simple, the straightforward, the upfront in general. Life is so much more simpler when you don’t have to (Or feel the need to!) match your earrings to your kameez or your footwear to your dress. It is even more easier when you are who you are, say what you mean and stick to the truth. You are saved the trouble of remembering to choose the right persona/mask for the different people and/or occasions.
Years back as young girls, when it was time for us to leave school, we wrote in each others autograph books. The books were the size of an adult palm, with plastic covers and multi-colored pages, predecessors of the more sophisticated slam books of today. One of my classmates, whose name I have forgotten, but whose face is still fresh in my memory, had scribbled in my book: ‘Think highly/Live plainly/Love truly”. I don’t know if I have followed the first, and sincerely hope I am still doing the last. But, what I DO know is I have certainly lived the second one in more ways than one.
When the L & M (for the newbies, that’s short for Lord & Master) came to *see* me [link], that quaint custom associated with an arranged marriage, what he said to his family after the occasion was,”I love her simplicity.” You see, I hadn’t followed the Bollywood style of decking up for the occasion, silks, ornaments and all, as was done commonly by aspiring-brides-to-be those days, and to a considerable extent in the present too. But, let me hasten to add, this certainly does NOT mean I am against ‘dolling up’ by those who wish to. Their life, their wishes.
Long back, I mentioned in a post on things about myself’ (Please note that I just said ‘a post on things about myself’) that I do not like using makeup. I am too lazy, anyway. So there was this fellow blogger who on reading it told a common friend, “Omg! Do you think she dislikes us because we use makeup?” Frankly speaking I have never heard anything sillier in my life. How exactly do my choices in life have anything to do with her or vice versa, unless of course we were forcing our choices on each other. Then it might warrant a few stern words or in extreme cases, a punch right on the nose that pokes.
Gosh. Look where I started and where I have landed. The simplicity of Ruskin Bond’s writing style and straight to punching people on the nose. And that too when I have been saying what a calming effect his books have! I better go and pick up another book of his to read 😉
©Shail Mohan 2015