“The past is always with us, for it feeds the present.” — Ruskin Bond
Sweet memories of the past, the fondness with which one remembers it in the present and the hope for a beautiful life in the future… Isn’t this more or less the sum of all parts that we call life? No writer could elucidate this better than Ruskin Bond. The collection The Night Train at Deoli and Other Stories is not just a pick from some of his best works; it unlocks touching moments buried deep in the recesses of the reader’s mind.
Stories such as My Father’s Trees in Dehra took me back to my grandfather’s garden, while A Face in the Night teleported me to a summer when I was a kid and loved sharing scary stories with my friends. The candour and the relatability of stories such as Bus Stop, Pipalnagar and A Love of Long Ago is enough to get the reader sighing wistfully and longing to revisit their youth when they chased success or love or both.
The author spent most of his childhood in the colonial hill stations, amidst deodar trees and the Himalayas. This closeness to nature explains his high regard for all things natural. It is evident in his writing—he likes to keep it simple. His stories always carry the air of a dinner-table conversation, like that of a favourite uncle regaling you with the stories of his adventures.
Every story in this collection oozes with a yearning for times gone by. It gets the reader longing to revisit one’s fun-filled childhood and vivacious youth. Every turn of the page evokes a sense of nostalgia, making this collection relatable for every kind of reader. So, if ever one needs a companion for a breezy Sunday morning coffee there’s none better than The Night Train at Deoli.