Click here to Download The Blue Umbrella PDF Book by Ruskin Bond having PDF Size 500KB and No of Pages 28.
If the cows didn’t come home at the right time, Binya would be sent to fetch them. sometimes her brother Bijju went with her, but these days he was busy preparing for his exams and didn’t have time to help with the cows. Binya liked being on her own, and sometimes she allowed the cows to lead her into some distant valley, and then they would all be late coming home.
The Blue Umbrella PDF Book by Ruskin Bond
|Name of Book||The Blue Umbrella|
|PDF Size||500 KB|
|No of Pages||28|
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The cows preferred having Binya with them, because she let them wander. Bijju pulled them by their tails if they went too far. Binya belonged to the mountains, to this part of the Himalayas known as Garhwal. Dark forests and lonely hilltops held no terrors for her. It was only when she was in the market-town, jostled by the crowds in the bazaar, that she felt rather nervous and lost.
The town, five miles from the village, was also a pleasure resort for tourists from all over India. Binya was probably ten. She may have been nine or even eleven, she couldn’t be sure because no one in the village kept birthdays; but her mother told her she’d been born during a winter when the snow had come up to the windows, and that was just over ten years ago, wasn’t it?
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Two years later her father had died; but his passing had made no difference to their way of life. They had three tiny terraced fields on the side of the mountain, and they grew potatoes, onions, ginger, beans, mustard and maize: not enough to sell in the town, but enough to live on. The Blue Umbrella PDF Book Download Like most mountain girls, Binya was quite sturdy, fair of skin, with pink cheeks and dark eyes and her black hair tied in a pigtail.
She wore pretty glass bangles on her wrists, and a necklace of glass beads. From the necklace hung a leopard’s claw. It was a lucky charm, and Binya always wore it. Bijju had one, too, only his was attached to a string. Binya’s full name was Binyadevi, and Bijju’s real name was vijay, but everyone called them Binya and Bijju. Binya was two years younger than her brother. She had stopped calling for Neelu; she had heard the cow-bells tinkling, and knew the cows hadn’t gone far.
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Singing to herself, she walked over fallen pine needles into the forest glade on the spur of the hill. She heard voices, laughter, the clatter of plates and cups; and stepping through the trees, she came upon a party of picnickers. They were holiday-makers from the plains. The women were dressed in bright saris, the men wore light summer shirts, and the children had pretty new clothes.
Binya, standing in the shadows between the trees, went unnoticed; and for some time she watched the picnickers, admiring their clothes, listening to their unfamiliar accents, and gazing rather hungrily at the sight of all their food. The Blue Umbrella PDF Book Download And then her gaze came to rest on a bright blue umbrella, a frilly thing for women, which lay open on the grass beside its owner.
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Now Binya had seen umbrellas before, and her mother had a big black umbrella which nobody used any more because the field-rats had eaten holes in it, but this was the first time Binya had seen such a small, dainty, colourful umbrella; and she fell in love with it. The umbrella was like a flower, a great blue flower that had sprung up on the dry brown hillside.
She moved forward a few paces so that she could see the umbrella better. As she came out of the shadows into the sunlight, the picnickers saw her. Whenever Binya went out—whether it was to graze the cows, or fetch water from the spring, or carry milk to the little tea shop on the Tehri road—she took the umbrella with her. That patch of skyblue silk could always be seen on the hillside.
Old Ram Bharosa (Ram the Trustworthy) kept the tea shop on the Tehri road. It was a dusty, unmetalled road. Once a day, the Tehri bus stopped near his shop and passengers got down to sip hot tea or drink a glass of curds. The Blue Umbrella PDF Book He kept a few bottles of Coca-cola too; but as there was no ice, the bottles got hot in the sun and so were seldom opened.
He also kept sweets and toffees, and when Binya or Bijju had a few coins to spare they would spend them at the shop. It was only a mile from the village. Ram Bharosa pulled at his drooping whiskers, gave Binya a wry look, and placed a toffee in the palm of her hand. He watched Binya as she walked away along the dusty road. The blue umbrella held him fascinated, and he stared after it until it was out of sight.
The villagers used this road to go to the market-town. Some used the bus; a few rode on mules; most people walked. Today, everyone on the road turned their heads to stare at the girl with the bright blue umbrella. Binya sat down in the shade of a pine tree. The umbrella, still open, lay beside her. She cradled her head in her arms, and presently she dozed off. It was that kind of day, sleepily warm and summery.
And while she slept, a wind sprang up. It came quietly, swishing gently through the trees, humming softly. Then it was joined by other random gusts, bustling over the tops of the mountains. The Blue Umbrella PDF Book The trees shook their heads and came to life. The wind fanned Binya’s cheeky. The umbrella stirred on the grass. The wind grew stronger, picking up dead leaves and sending them spinning and swirling through the air.
It got into the umbrella and began to drag it over the grass. Suddenly it lifted the umbrella and carried it about six feet from the sleeping girl. The sound woke Binya. She was on her feet immediately, and then she was leaping down the steep slope. But just as she was within reach of the umbrella, the wind picked it up again and carried it further downhill. Binya set off in pursuit.
The wind was in a wicked, playful mood. It would leave the umbrella alone for a few moments; but, as soon as Binya came near, it would pick up the umbrella again and send it bouncing, floating, dancing away from her. The hill grew steeper. Binya knew that after twenty yards it would fall away in a precipice. She ran faster. The Blue Umbrella PDF Book And the wind ran with her, ahead of her, and the blue umbrella stayed up with the wind. A fresh gust picked it up and carried it to the very edge of the cliff. There it balanced for a few seconds, before toppling over, out of sight.
Binya ran to the edge of the cliff. Going down on her hands and knees, she peered down the cliff-face. About a hundred feet below, a small stream rushed between great boulders. Hardly anything grew on the cliff-face—just a few stunted bushes, and, halfway down, a wild cherry tree growing crookedly out of the rocks and hanging across the chasm. The umbrella had stuck in the cherry tree. Binya didn’t hesitate.
She may have been timid with strangers, but she was at home on a hillside. She stuck her bare leg over the edge of the cliff and began climbing down. she kept her face to the hillside, feeling her way with her feet, only changing her handhold when she knew her feet were secure. Sometimes she held on to the thorny bilberry bushes, but she did not trust the other plants, which came away very easily.
Loose stones rattled down the cliff. Once on their way, the stones did not stop until they reached the bottom of the hill; and they took other stones with them, so that there was soon a cascade of stones, and Binya had to be very careful not to start a landslide. As agile as a mountain-goat, she did not take more than five minutes to reach the crooked cherry tree. The Blue Umbrella PDF But the most difficult task remained. She had to crawl along the trunk of the tree, which stood out at right angles from the cliff. Only by doing this could she reach the trapped umbrella.
Binya felt no fear when climbing trees. She was proud of the fact that she could climb them as well as Bijju. Gripping the rough cherry bark with her toes, and using her knees as leverage, she crawled along the trunk of the projecting tree until she was almost within reach of the umbrella. She noticed with dismay that the blue cloth was torn in a couple of places. She looked down; and it was only then that she felt afraid. She was right over the chasm, balanced precariously about eighty feet above the boulder-strewn stream.
Looking down, she felt quite dizzy. Her hands shook, and the tree shook too. If she slipped now, there was only one direction in which she could fall—down, down, into the depths of that dark and shadowy ravine. There was only one thing to do; concentrate on the patch of blue just a couple of feet away from her. She did not look down or up, but straight ahead; and willing herself forward, she managed to reach the umbrella.
She could not crawl back with it in her hands. So, after dislodging it from the forked branch in which it had stuck, she let it fall, still open, into the ravine below. The Blue Umbrella PDF Cushioned by the wind, the umbrella floated serenely downwards, landing in a thicket of nettles. Binya crawled back along the trunk of the cherry tree. Twenty minutes later she emerged from the nettle clump, her precious umbrella held aloft.
She had nettle stings all over her legs, but she was hardly aware of the smarting. She was as immune to nettles as Bijju was to bees. Most of the people in the village were a little envious of Binya’s blue umbrella. No one else had ever possessed one like it. The schoolmaster’s wife thought it was quite wrong for a poor cultivator’s daughter to have such a fine umbrella while she, a second-class B.A., had to make do with an ordinary black one.