The Blue Umbrella is a 1980 Indian novel written by Ruskin Bond. It was adapted into 2005 Hindi film by the same name, directed by Vishal Bhardwaj, which later won the National Film Award for Best Children’s Film.
The Blue Umbrella Summary
Like most Ruskin Bond stories, the chapter “The Blue Umbrella” is also set in the Himalayas. The story revolves around Binya and the “blue umbrella” she received from the tourists. She is a typical mountain girl who takes the cows to the grazing field.
She fetches water from the spring and carries the milk to the tea shops on the Tehri road. During these chores, she carries her dear blue umbrella with her. The author describes her walking around with the blue umbrella as a patch of the sky that can be seen on the hillside. The Blue Umbrella!
The villagers use the Tehri road to go to the market. Some people choose to take the bus and some others walk or travel on a mule. Each time people on the road take notice of this girl walking with the “bright blue umbrella”.
One day she was resting under a pine tree. The umbrella lay open beside her. She soon dozed off as it was a warm, summery day. As she was sleeping a strong wind came her way.
It came so silently and gushed over the trees. Soon the wind was joined by other winds and became a stronger force. The trees moved their heads as the wind slided through them. The wind fanned Binya’s cheeks and moved the umbrella that was lying on the grass.
The author has used a lot of adjectives to describe the wind’s movement such as ‘quietly, swishing, gently, and humming softly. The wind and the trees are personified here.
The wind grew stronger over the course of time and lifted the dead leaves from the ground. It started to drag along the umbrella and carried it six feet away from Binya. Soon, the sound of the wind woke her up. She sprang up and understood that the umbrella had moved from her reach.
She started following the umbrella that was being dragged by the wind. The wind was in a “wicked, playful mood”. The umbrella went on dancing, floating and bouncing away from her. Again the writer is using personification to describe the wind and the umbrella.
As it went, the hill started to get steeper and riskier. Binya realized that her umbrella would soon go off into the steep cliff (precipice). The Blue Umbrella!
She ran as much as she could to prevent that. But the wind was way ahead of her. She went to the edge of the cliff. There were only a few bushes and a cherry tree that grew on that steep cliff. The umbrella had got stuck on that cherry tree.
Binya was raised among the hills. She was not scared of the cliff. She did not think twice before trying to get her umbrella off from the cherry tree standing on a sharp cliff.
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About the Author
Ruskin Bond is an Anglo-Indian author. His first novel, The Room on the Roof, was published in 1956, and it received the John Llewellyn Rhys Prize in 1957. Bond has authored more than 500 short stories, essays, and novels, including 64 books for children.