Mussoorie-based children’s writer Ruskin Bond’s literary work The Blue Umbrella and Angry River will now be available as comics. The septuagenarian author is delighted to see his literary work in the new format. “I have personally been a huge fan of Amar Chitra Katha from the days the comics were launched. My congratulations to the talented artists and scriptwriters for making my stories so attractive in the comic book form. Both The Blue Umbrella and Angry River are among my early works written especially for children and their popularity has increased over the years.”
Mr. Bond pointed out that when The Blue Umbrella was published in the United States, it was named the Book of the Month by Parenting magazine.
The new title, The Blue Umbrella – Stories by Ruskin Bond, will serve to acquaint young children with the world of Ruskin Bond.
For scriptwriter Nimmy Chacko, working for the comic book has been an insightful journey into a gentle world. “The stories have wonderful characters and simple but strong plot-lines. Working on The Blue Umbrella has been a happy experience for all of us, especially since Mr. Bond was reading the scripts and encouraging us at every step.”
Amar Chitra Katha Editor Reena Puri said: “As we already have a section called Indian Classics which has stories by Kalidas and other prominent authors from the country we thought a section on contemporary children’s writing would complete our vast range of stories.”
Ms. Puri added that histories lend themselves very well to the comic format both in terms of plot and visuals. When we suggested the idea to Mr. Bond, we got a very positive response from him.
The 32-page comic book has two stories. The Blue Umbrella is about a little girl named Binya who acquires a beautiful umbrella. Soon Binya and the umbrella become inseparable companions and her fondness for it grows with each passing day. However, people in the village get jealous of the girl and want to get hold of the umbrella at any cost.
Angry River is the story of Sita who lives with her grandparents on a tiny island in the middle of a big river. One day, the river swells and destroys Sita’s beloved home when her grandparents are away. Her only hope of survival is to cling on to a sturdy peepal – the only tree on the island.
Noting that both the stories have strong, resourceful and inspiring child protagonists, she said both are set in picturesque locations. “Therefore there was a lot of scope as far as the illustrations were concerned. Comics are essentially pictures. And this is the difference from the original Ruskin Bond books. The stories are a visual treat with fresh and vibrant illustrations. A lot of thought has been put in by the artist Sabu Sarasan into perfecting the feel. It would be an interesting experience for them to see their favourite stories come alive through illustrations.”