The Blue Umbrella | Book Review | Juhi Singh | Bibliophile Reads Blog

Updated: Oct 7, 2020

"The Blue Umbrella" by author Ruskin Bond is a Novella, meaning a short novel or a long short story. I picked this tiny little book with an attractive white and blue cover design because of many readers admiring the author, his writing style, and many times, particularly about this novella, the book kept popping up in the book suggestions. So, at last, I decided to have it and I didn't commit a mistake here, this book serves its purpose of fulfilling you while reading it.

In this Novella "The Blue Umbrella," author Ruskin Bond weaves a beautiful story around an ordinary mountain girl Binya and her love for an envious, pretty looking bright blue umbrella. Binya a ten or eleven-year-old girl, who lives in a village called Garhwal, in the foothills of Himalaya, India, is a poor cultivator's daughter who has not seen any luxury in her life, she lived with her mother and her elder brother Bijju. One day, while wandering off with her cows in the forest glade on the spur of the hills she came upon a party of picnickers, and there it was 'the dreamy bright blue umbrella'. Binya instantly fell in love with the umbrella and it attracted her more than anything at the time. When the picnickers saw Binya a village girl standing nearby the picnic sight they approached her and it was then as if like the circumstances conspired so that Binya can have the blue umbrella and her dream be fulfilled.

"The umbrella was like a flower, a great blue flower that had sprung up on the dry brown hillside" 

The picnickers gave Binya The Blue Umbrella in exchange for her lucky charm 'a leopard's claw necklace' which Binya used to wear around her neck to ward off any evil as the people living in the village believed and apparently the picnickers too.

This pretty blue frilly thing became the talk of the village. Innocent children were full of praises for the blue umbrella while most of the people living in the village envied Binya for her treasured possession but the most envious of them was old Ram Bharosa, the shopkeeper who decided that by some means he must own the blue umbrella. The beautiful silk blue umbrella brought quite an adventure in the ordinary life of Binya.

“Unlike the adults, the children didn’t have to pretend. They were full of praise for the umbrella. It was so light, so pretty, so bright a blue! And it was just the right size for Binya. They knew that if they said nice things about the umbrella, Binya would smile and give it to them to hold for a little while—just a very little while! Soon”

The author has woven the story so beautifully and mentioned the incidents & things so precisely that you start imagining the story and the serene hill sights mentioned in the story, which makes the story reading experience mesmerizing, and there lies the magic of the author's storytelling style. The book contains illustrations that portray the incidents of the story, making the story fun & easy to understand.

As the story progresses it starts to take turns & twists making the story interesting and the best part and message of the story lies in the climax of it, where ordinary characters become heroic, and others find opportunities to redeem themselves.

The story leaves you with refreshing, happy lingering feelings & thoughts. The story can be finished in half an hour or so. The story portrays many emotions, like finding happiness in small things, envy, guilt, joy, kindness, redemption, etc., and the story ends with a beautiful message like the power of compassion/kindness and Realization, sharing & forgiveness can bring joy & happiness in everyone's life, all this in just a single short story.

Basically, this novella is for children, but surely it is successful in conveying some beautiful & strong messages to any person reading it. This book is a sheer pleasure and enjoyment.

“She walked home through the darkening glade, singing of the stars; and the trees stood still and listened to her, and the mountains were glad.

My Rating: 4.5

Book in a glance for you

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Author Juhi Singh



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