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Hold on To Your Dreams by Ruskin Bond

At the ripe old age of 90, the very versatile Ruskin Bond comes out with a simple, short and beautiful book that carries within its pages little gems of wisdom gathered over a lifetime. Hold on To Your Dreams by Ruskin Bond (Penguin) is for children and young adults, but I think it is a book that truly rises above the confines of age. 

I like to think of this book as a heartfelt letter to his readers on his 90th birthday. Bond aficionados know that his subtle sense of humour will be present here and there, sprinkled gently all over the book. And it is sure to bring a smile to your face as you read the book. Lines like “I am full of superstition though I pretend to be a rational person” are tucked between insightful passages paving way for a little lightheartedness as we read. 

Having lived in the hills for a large part of his long life, one knows that nature in its resplendent beauty as well as in its small tiny glimpses will also be omnipresent in the book. Those who look for it, will find nuggets of wisdom and little tips such as “sunshine is a great healer”. They will also find sensual descriptions of the myriad wonders of nature. 

Of course, nostalgia would creep in as well! Ruskin Bond reminisces about time gone past and on the days of his childhood and boyhood, but the effect it has on the reader is a warm fuzzy feeling. The memories are never heavy, though he’s had experiences in childhood which one could definitely say are traumatic in a sense. However, the memories are also positive, viewed with wisdom with the benefit of maturity and space that age provides.

The illustrations add to the enigma of his words. Some truly memorable and touching lines have been given a place of honour as quotes on the pages, so that the reader may read them once more, soaking in the wisdom. 

 “The written word has enabled me to conquer both time and distance. With its help, I can recall scenes from my boyhood, my friends and familiar, lost, love, moments of joy, anguish, triumphs, and tragedies – the world around me!” he writes. 

Ruskin Bond is also a voracious reader and he has in fact written a few books about books. This little book as well has generous mentions of the authors he loves to read and the literature that has impacted him. A little bonus perhaps to those readers who are of a literary bent themselves. 

This latest gem in Ruskin Bond’s illustrious literary legacy offers an intimate glimpse of his everyday life, the cherished memories, experiences and invaluable insights. His musings and anecdotes are sure to inspire young people and adults to hold on to their dreams.Ruskin also offers his wisdom and advice to readers, encouraging them not to overlook life’s opportunities and joys. The book is almost meditative and soothing. 

Someone once said that there is great beauty in simplicity. I do believe that Hold on To Your Dreams by Ruskin Bond is strikingly beautiful in its simplicity. 

As you celebrate his milestone and the spirit of his words, remember to keep dreaming. To conclude with the words of the master wordsmith himself,

“ So, hang onto your dreams, my young friends. Don’t give up on them. They keep us going, and along the way, there are many pleasant diversions.”. 

Dhanishta Shah

Dhanishta is a Counselling Psychologist and a freelance writer. She is the Founder of Bookedforlife.