“The Blue Umbrella” is a novella written by the celebrated Indian author Ruskin Bond. This charming story is set in a remote village in the Himalayan region of India and explores themes of desire, materialism, and the transformational power of kindness. Here is the complete story:
In a picturesque and tranquil village nestled in the Himalayan foothills, there lived a young girl named Binya. She was a simple, cheerful girl who lived a modest life with her family. What made Binya stand out, however, was her beautiful blue umbrella. It was a striking contrast to the green landscape and became the talk of the village.
One summer day, Binya was taking a stroll in the forest when she came across a group of tourists picnicking. Among them was a young Japanese man named Mr. Sajigo, who was fascinated by Binya’s blue umbrella. He offered her his expensive, leopard-claw pendant in exchange for her umbrella. Intrigued by the offer and the exotic pendant, Binya agreed to the trade.
Binya returned to her village wearing the leopard-claw pendant around her neck, which immediately caught the attention of her fellow villagers. They were captivated by the pendant, and Binya became the center of attention. Her decision to trade the blue umbrella for the pendant made her feel special.
Meanwhile, the blue umbrella found a new owner, Ram Bharosa, the village shopkeeper. He was delighted to have such a unique item in his possession and used it as a marketing tool, displaying it prominently outside his shop to attract customers.
As time passed, Binya began to regret her decision. She missed her beloved blue umbrella, realizing that it was more than just an object; it held sentimental value to her. She decided to approach Ram Bharosa to buy it back, but he refused, seeing it as a valuable asset for his business.
Binya’s desire to reclaim her umbrella grew stronger with each passing day, and she continued to pester Ram Bharosa. The shopkeeper, however, remained adamant and refused to part with it. The situation led to tension in the village, and Binya’s persistence earned her a reputation for being greedy.
One day, a massive storm hit the village, and the villagers gathered in Ram Bharosa’s shop for shelter. The blue umbrella, which had been left outside as a marketing display, was destroyed in the fierce winds. Binya, upon hearing the news, felt a profound sadness for her lost umbrella but chose not to show it.
Around the same time, a tragic accident occurred in the village. Ram Bharosa’s son was severely injured and required immediate medical attention. The nearest doctor was in a town several miles away, and it was impossible to get there in time due to the storm.
In a moment of realization, Binya decided to help. She offered to guide the villagers through the forest, using her knowledge of the terrain to reach the doctor’s house. Her selflessness and bravery were recognized by everyone.
Ram Bharosa, deeply moved by Binya’s kind gesture, had a change of heart. He felt guilty about his refusal to return the blue umbrella to her and saw the error of his ways. After his son’s recovery, he decided to make amends.
Ram Bharosa returned the broken blue umbrella to Binya as a symbol of his newfound understanding and kindness. In return, Binya presented him with the leopard-claw pendant, recognizing that it was her own desire for material possessions that had caused the initial rift between them.
Moral of the story: “The Blue Umbrella” teaches us about the value of kindness, empathy, and the significance of relationships over material possessions. Through the characters of Binya and Ram Bharosa, Ruskin Bond beautifully illustrates how acts of kindness can transform people and mend broken bonds, making the story a timeless and heartwarming tale for readers of all ages.