Free Press Journal

A Little Book of Beauty by Ruskin Bond: Review


Title: A Little Book of Beauty

Author: Ruskin Bond

Publication: Speaking Tiger
Price: Rs 270

Pages: 160


In the breathless race of deadlines and the compulsive need to check our phones every five seconds, this little blue-green pocketbook is a much-needed comma to just breathe! The latest in the best-selling Little Book series, A Little Book of Beauty by Ruskin Bond, is an anthology that blends the well-loved author’s ideas and images of beauty with those of writers and thinkers he has read and enjoyed.
Bond sets the tone in the introduction pointing out that “beauty needs no introduction – either it’s there, or it isn’t. Either you see it or you don’t.” He also tells us that there are many kinds of beauty – as many as there are eyes to see and hearts to feel. Thumb through this book and some selections are bound to strike an immediate chord… “I said to the almond tree, ‘Sister, speak to me of God,’ and the almond tree blossomed,” Nikos Kazantzakis’ simple testimony to beauty is instantly moving. Others might have you reading and re-reading to get at the essence. Case in point: Matsuo Basho’s “There is nothing you can see that is not a flower; There is nothing you can think that is not the moon.”

Bond’s own little gems impress as always… “Enough for me that you walk past, A firefly flashing in the dark.” And then… “I rescued a dying asparagus fern from a neglected garden, and now, six months later, its strong feathery fronds have taken over most of my window, so that I have no need of curtains. And as the afternoon wanes, sunlight filters in green and mellow gold.” Pause, close your eyes and drink in that beauty. And when you chance upon some lines that don’t feature, scribble them down on the pages provided for notes. Who knows, you might even be inspired to create something original and beautiful yourself!