There were three things that prompted me to order this book:
1. Ruskin Bond
2. Catchy Title
3. My Amazon pay balance was just a bit more than its price :D
The package got delivered on 25th September 2017 and I was so disappointed. It had just 88 pages with font sizes of somewhere between 14-15 points. Even the dimensions of the product that Amazon shows were not anything near to okay. There were pencil sketches on few pages just to illustrate the developments.There were seven chapters or parts of the book.
I read it in one stretch. And in the end, I was more than just satisfied. It was a great, short and sweet story. After reading the book, I googled the same and that was when I came to know that a film based on the book of the same name had already been released in 2005. It was directed by Vishal Bhardwaj.
The story revolves around the girl named Binya. "Binya belonged to the mountains, to this part of the Himalayas known as Garhwal." She lives with her mother and her brother - Bijju. She often grazes her cattle around valleys and returns to home by evening. One day she finds 'holiday-makers from the plains' picnicking on the spur of the hill. She spots an umbrella. "The umbrella was like a flower, a great blue flower that had sprung up on the dry brown hillside" She trades her pendant (tiger's claw) for the umbrella and finally she owns it. The only shop owner of the village 'Ram Bharosa' gets jealous of the umbrella and wants to seek one. In fact, everyone in the village wants to have an umbrella of that kind. Binya never leaves her umbrella and always carries it wherever she goes. Ram Bharosa offers money to Binya for the same but she refuses it. After a while, Ram Bharosa employs a boy named Rajaram for all washing up and various errands. He senses his masters' desire for the umbrella and asks whether he would pay him extra if he managed to get him the umbrella. Ram Bharosa agrees and Raja Ram plots to steal the umbrella.
But it ends in a fiasco. He is ultimately caught by Bijju and Raja Ram speaks up about Ram Bharosa and how he wanted the umbrella so bad. Everyone in the village cames to know about the evil plot and they stop going to Ram Bharosa's shop. Villagers now used to walk an extra mile to another shop for their daily needs. Ram Bharosa repents over his actions. In the end, Binya herself walks into his shop for toffee and then gives her umbrella to Ram Bharosa. She says that she doesn't need the umbrella anymore. In return, Ram Bharosa gets her a new Tiger Claw pendant. The villagers' starts to walk in his shop again.
"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."
As of now, it's of Rs 50 on Amazon.in. It is worth of every penny spent.