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In Koki’s latest outing, she is the protagonist in a story that flows as sweetly as the flute that plays an important part in it. For the uninitiated, Koki is the twelve-year-old girl who Ruskin Bond met on the ship on his way to India. The girl was sweet and kind and shared her chocolates with him because he could not afford to buy them himself. In Bond’s stories, she eternally remains a twelve-year-old!
In the true Ruskin Bond style, the delightful narration makes you feel as close to the mountains as if you were sitting there instead of being in an urban jungle. Nobody does nature better than Ruskin Bond! His bond with nature is unbeatable, and it is because of the way he has stayed true to the flora and fauna of the place he calls home. And if there was any gap, the illustrations by Ayeshe Sadr and Ishaan Dasgupta do more than justice to the story.
It’s a simple tale of Koki and her friendship with her surroundings, including the wildly grown garden, the forest beyond, the animals that come to quench their thirst, and a boy called Somi, who plays the flute. The power of Bond’s stories lies in their simplicity, and it is so easily visible in this one too – Koki’s interaction with all her friends hardly have any words, and you don’t even feel the need to, because the conversation is flowing so effortlessly.
The story reminds you of your own uncomplicated childhood, where a vacation meant temporarily moving residence to the grandparents’. An expression of feeling bored would mean that you are sent outdoors to find ways to occupy yourself, and the evening was reserved for the stories from the grandmother. Ah, nostalgia – so beautifully described in Koki and her grandmother’s world.