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Friday, June 18, 2021

‘Wonder where the green grass went’: Ruskin Bond rues Dehradun and Mussoorie’s current situation

On June 5, World Environment Day, author Ruskin Bond took to Instagram to share a poem lamenting the 'situation' of Mussourie and Dehradun. He referred to them as the 'Twin cities of happiness'

By: Lifestyle Desk | New Delhi |
June 6, 2021 4:00:04 pm
ruskin bond, world environment day, ruskin bond writes a lament, ruskin bond writes a poem, rusking bond on instagram, mussourie and dehradun, indianexpress.comRuskin Bond wrote a poem on World Environment Day. (File photo)

On June 5, World Environment Day, author Ruskin Bond took to Instagram to share a poem lamenting the ‘situation’ of Mussoorie and Dehradun. He referred to them as the ‘Twin cities of happiness’.

In the post, the author could be seen seated in one of Dehradun’s oldest green bookstores, Natraj: The Green Bookshop. The post accompanying the image enclosed his lament on the continuing environmental degeneration of his favourite cities. Known for celebrating the towering presence of nature in his works, Bond wrote of a sadder and colder environmental reality.

Titled Dirge of Dehradun, the poem ebbed with loss and estrangement — the kind that transports us to greener and cleaner days except for the fact that we cannot have them back. The poem chronicles the changing countenance of the city. The once green grass lays ‘buried under new cement’, the footpaths have ‘disappeared’ under parked cars, and ironically what has grown robustly over the years, is not nature, but ‘garbage dumps’ and ‘million flies’.

 

In the concluding lines, Bond wrote, “Is this the place you celebrate? /In prose you made it sound so great!”. The author who made deep pine forests, mountainsides and meadows of Dehradun and Mussoorie appealing through his prose no longer celebrates the picturesque surroundings. Instead, he throws light on the present which has endangered nature.

He recently celebrated his birthday on May 19 with friends and family in Mussoorie.

In an interview with indianexpress.com, the author had talked about the books which helped him during lockdown. “Well, books are like gateways to new worlds and dimensions. When I start reading, I don’t feel like I am confined in a room. I get transformed to beautiful places I haven’t ever been to before. I get to meet new people in the form of characters,” he had said.

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