In this article, we will discuss the summary of The Blue Umbrella by Ruskin Bond.
Setting of Blue Umbrella
Set in a Garhwal village of Himachal Pradesh, the story revolves around a little girl, Binya. She belongs to a poor family and lives with her brother, Bijju, and their mother.
The story starts with Binya, returning with her cattle from the fields, witnessing some Japanese tourists from the city enjoying a picnic in the valley. She is attracted to their activities and especially smitten by a blue umbrella.
Seeing her innocent fascination with the umbrella, they decide to interact with Binya. She has a leopard-claw pendant around her neck and the tourists decide to barter the pendant for the umbrella.
A Range of Reactions
Binya carries the umbrella home. She is so fond of its beauty that she rarely closes it and keeps it with her all the time. The beauty of the blue umbrella soon becomes every villager’s favorite conversation topic. Everyone wants to hold it and Binya obliges with their request.
On the flipside, the beautiful umbrella also becomes an obsession for a few like Ram Bharosa, a small grocery shop owner. He covers the umbrella and tries to buy it from Binya to no avail. It causes a little heartburn to Ram Bharosa but Binya’s decision is final.
Soon the monsoon arrives and the rains bring the village school to a close. Ram Bharosa employs a young boy named Ramrajan in his shop. Trying to impress his employer, Ramrajan tries to steal the umbrella while Binya goes to collect porcupines from the forest.
However, he is caught by Bijju, her brother and fearing the worst, he takes Ram Bharosa’s name and due to his well-known obsession with the umbrella, everybody believes the lie. The whole village stops visiting his shop and he falls into great misery.
A Kind Gesture
Seeing the plight of Ram Bharosa, Binya feels sympathy for him and decides to donate the umbrella to him. In return, he presents Binya a bear-claw pendant, considered even luckier than her leopard-claw pendant.
Even the story is short and simple but it gives value lessons about human goodness and kindness. Binya is an example of innocence and compassion and stands out as a great role model for children and adults alike.
The Blue Umbrella tells tales of extraordinary heroism by ordinary people of Garhwal hills. It highlights that a simple story told in an earnest style can create a grand emotional effect on the readers. Read further on this PDF.