Unraveling seven short stories beautifully written by the evergreen children’s author Ruskin Bond, “The Children’s Omnibus” is truly an enchanting journey to embark upon. All of us know that the author has won numerous laurels for all the books he has written since all of them are in simple language and the style of writing is quite lucid which makes his books more interesting than ever. Ruskin Bond being the inhabitant of the beautiful mountain area, his stories are replete with beautiful sceneries of the countryside.
The book opens with the story titled, Cricket for the Crocodile. The amazing thing about the story is that the author brings in the fact of how much cricket is enjoyed in our country. The main protagonist of the story is, of course, the crocodile, named Nakoo-ji (Nakoo here means intrusive). He is bound to bring a smile on the readers’ face as he flips the pages. The author has definitely put in a good amount of humor throughout. The story showcases a group of boys who love playing cricket and play it religiously each day. Nakoo-ji too has taken a strange liking towards the game and has become a regular spectator. There comes a time when the ball falls in the crocodile’s mouth and it develops a liking towards the ball too.
Cricket for the Crocodile is followed by The Blue Umbrella, Angry River, Ghost Trouble, Dust on the Mountain, Grandfather’s Private Zoo and the last being, The Road to the Bazaar which itself is a compilation of tiny stories. Each and every tale unfurls the story of common people living in villages and small towns. For example, Dust on the Mountain shows a boy, who just like any other rural people is attracted towards the city life. He believes that city life is easier and luxurious but later in the story, he somehow realizes that village life is nowhere near to city life. He understands that he does not want to be a part of the concrete jungle and returns to where he came from.
One of the critically acclaimed stories of the book is The Blue Umbrella. All people who watch documentaries and like simple movies which do not necessarily showcase a superstar but has an amazing script might have surely watch the movie adapted from this story. It is also named The Blue Umbrella. The protagonist is a girl who trades her lucky charm for a big and attractive blue umbrella which she carries with her everywhere. People around her start getting envious, especially a tea vendor who tries a lot to get the umbrella. The story concludes with a nice gesture by the girl of giving away her umbrella to the man.
The book is surely an enticing read. The one who picks it can never be let down, such good are the stories. Nature is defined in a vivid manner with Dehra being the prominent town. The adults who read will be reminded of their own childhood and the simplicity of the people of that era. This collection of stories is highly recommended for all age groups especially children.