Source : Hindustan Times
- Ruskin Bond’s new poem ‘Dirge of Dehradun’ laments the current environmental degradation in ‘the twin cities of happiness’ that is Dehradun and Mussoorie which were once picturesque towns in the foothills of the Himalayas but are now decaying. Read the emotional lines inside
His beautiful quotes on love, life, friendship and happiness have always convinced us that there is still some beauty in the world despite all the conflicts and lives being lost but this World Environment Day, India’s most loved storyteller – Ruskin Bond, drew the attention towards the environmental loss in Dehradun, the capital city of Uttarakhand and Mussoorie which were once picturesque towns in the foothills of the Himalayas. Bond’s new poem “Dirge of Dehradun” laments the current environmental degradation in “the twin cities of happiness” which are now crumbling under rising population, rapid infrastructure development at the cost of ecologically sensitive areas, decaying water bodies and poor waste management.
Taking to his social media, the 87-year-old author shared a picture from Natraj, The Green Bookshop which is one of India’s oldest independent bookstores in Dehradun. The picture featured him sitting with his friend Upendra as the two sipped on cold coffee in the backdrop of shelves loaded with books and landlines on the counter, giving a ’90s feel.
Bond revealed in the caption, “With my friend upendra @natrajgreenbookshop dehradun .On the occasion of the World Environment Day it is our pleasure to share a poem lamenting the current situation of Dehra Dun and Mussoorie (the twin cities of happiness)” sic.
Check out the new poem by Ruskin Bond here:
Dirge of Dehradun
I wonder where the green grass went,
All buried under the new cement.
I wonder where the birds have flown,
They have gone to find another home.
I wonder where the footpath’s gone,
Right underneath your car, my son.
I wonder where the old folks go,
The nursing homes GB surely know.
What grows so fast before my eyes?
A garbage dump, a million flies.
Is this the place you celebrate?
In prose you made it sound so great!
It was……..before I knew it was fate.
Wrapping up his message of awareness, Bond concluded by writing, “Stay safe. Stay lucky and stay in love with nature. Warm regards (sic).”
From romanticising the hilly lifestyle like no other author in India to falling in love with girls on railway stations, Ruskin Bond is a writer of British descent who has been writing from Landour, a British India-era cantonment town just above Mussoorie, ever since 1964. His wealth of stories are marked by tales of mountains, nature, birds and beasts, misadventures, heart-warming narratives of friendship and compassion and even travails with eccentric relatives which have always encouraged emerging and young writers to try his simple style of writing that do not make their readers toil and sweat.
With a career spanning over six decades, Bond is credited for making a bond with our childhood with his feel-good-factor and freshness in his writings coming from his enjoyment of a life of solitude, surrounded by nature, the hills and the mountains that have a calming influence on the readers. Those who have grown up reading short stories and novels by the iconic Indian novelist can vouch for the escapism that his writings have provided in their simplicity, mountain based and solitude dripping style.