On the very first page of Ruskin Bond’s ‘A Book of Simple Living’, is a very beautiful and serene illustration of a trail of ants. Even before I can immerse myself in the soothing words of this book, my mind goes back a decade in time. My now-tween then-toddler and I were in a park, staring at a long line of ants that he spotted. We had all the time to ‘stand and stare’ at the busy ants. I still remember feeling so calm and at ease, and experiencing a sense of solidarity with nature, even as the world around us went buzzing by. This is exactly the kind of feeling that reading ‘A Book of Simple Living” evokes.
Ruskin Bond has written a lot about nature. This book has crystallised nuggets which all stem from his relationship with the natural world. “Live close to nature and your spirit will not be easily broken, for you will learn something of patience and resilience. You will not grow restless and you will never feel lonely,” he rightly says.
But, is it really only nature that he talks about? As you read the short passages in the book, varied themes come out- the futility of war, the delicacy of love, sights and sounds that tickle the senses, the many pleasures of gardening, his take on collections and ‘hoarding’ stuff, work, vocation and creativity. Occasionally, a poem creeps in and these simple verses are equally enchanting. In short, these are his philosophical musings that will make our busy and wired lives happier.
This book will make you savour simple pleasures of life and the joy of little things. It is a way to detox mentally. Read it from the first to last page or just open up a random page and devour it. The writing is short, brief and simple, thus being accessible to the most busy or reluctant of readers.
If you have read other books by Ruskin Bond you will find that this book is a microcosm of his world. If you have never read a book by Ruskin Bond, this is probably the best one to begin with. And, if reading this book kindles any desire to express a few thoughts of your own, be sure to check out our post on a journal written by Bond- https://www.bookedforlife.in/reviews/ruskin-bonds-words-hills-collectors-delight/. This journal merges spectacular artwork and beautiful snippets from Bonds works, to inspire you to pen down your own thoughts.
Ruskin Bond’s ‘A Book of Simple Living’ is a book you may want to add to your collection. What is says remains timeless!
Title: A Book of Simple Living
Author: Ruskin Bond
Publisher: Speaking Tiger