Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Time stops at Shamli

How many times in your life have decided to to do something based on an impulse?? Or have you ever just decided to go someplace at some whim or fancy of yours putting all your everyday chores on hold?? If not, have you at least reached the juncture where you do feel like doing that?? If so, then you are dreamer. Definitely a dreamer!! "Time stops at Shamli" is one such story by Ruskin Bond. But, then Ruskin Bond was always a writer who took his readers into a different world, through the eyes of Rusty, through the lanes and by lanes of Almore, Mussoorie, Ranikhet, Nainital..... and other hill stations of that region. The way he wrote, was always capable of making you float like a cloud across those mountains on a crazy winter morning. His most controversial work till date has been "The Sensualist". More about that later.



Shamli, is a small hill side station, which our male protagonist keeps passing on his trip to and fro to a certain place in the mountains from Delhi. Everytime, he sees this quiet and sleepy station, he wonders about what lies beyond the walls of the railway station. Will it be as quiet as the station or would be more sleepy. Every time the train stopped at Shamli, he was intrigued to find out. One such stop couldn't keep him seated in the train. He decided to stop by at Shamli. And see what's there to be seen. He went ahead to find the only lodge in town, owned by a rather old man. Rumour had it that his wife, who was extremely pretty, but years younger. This seemed to be the only bright speck for him to look forward in an otherwise dreary town. He felt like regretting his decision. The people who came in at the hotel lounge were all locals who had just dropped in for a friendly visit to the lodge owner. And then it began to rain, and it rained very hard. It seemed that nature had unleashed it's fury for a purpose that night....... what would that be??


To him the rain proved to be a deterrent as the lines ahead had been damaged and would take another day to repair. So he was stuck at Shamli now. Dejected, he took in the garden...... as he kept walking staring at the different hues of the grass that grew he noticed a lady standing there. It was Sushma. Unable to believe his eyes, he had to blink a couple of times just to be sure. Time seemed to stop. Sushma, was his only love till date, whom he had to let go when she got forced into marriage by her parents. But, what was she doing there. Seeing him there, Sushma was equally surprised. They did a lot of catching up, and he came to know, she was the lodge owner's gorgeous wife. he laughed to himself. The old love got rekindled as they were caught in the rain. The cold rain, set afire their love..... and to that which could have unified them for ever!! But that was never to be, as Sushma broke away from him and raced back to the lodge... with him calling out after her and asking her to join him the next day when he leaves Shamli.


The next day she never showed up. Heart-broken he made his way to the station. He found her waiting for him. She held his hands and then explained to him why despite her heart craving to go away from the god-forsaken place, she can't do so. She had a husband and a kid, and her responsibilities toward both and thus cannot just run away with him. It was not meant to be and they should carry on with their lives. And then the train snaked away................ With the time at Shamli tucked away into the corner of his mind..... stopped and frozen to be relived later!!


This is short was the essence of the entire story. The interpretation is mine all the way, and having read this story aeons ago, I believe there would be some inconsistencies with the actual story. But then, the story as such tells us that we should realise what is meant to be and what not. And when the time comes, no matter how tough the decision is, it has to be taken!!


Cheerio..................


26 comments:

Vandita said...

Super post sam..now i wanna read the book.
Waise just to answer your question, yes i am very much a dreamer... and i guess u knew that already. :)
I love the way u end it with the fact that we eventually have to realise whats not meant to be and learn to let go. It aint easy ever, but it has to be done!
May lord give us all that kinda strength in tough times ...
Take care buddy
Vands

Sam said...

hey vands, you'd have to search for the works of Ruskin Bond. This is a story as such. You'd find many such stories by Ruskin Bond.... I hardly remember a few!!

Cuckoo said...

Hmmm you into reading ??

Good nice post, well written as well.. forces us to look for the book now ;)

And yes, me too a dreamer..

DumBum - Wonderfully Wierd said...

sam... lovely post... i cnt believe im meeting u today and reading ur blog... its difficult to xplain exactly... [:P] lolz... hmmm i love ruskin bond and this is a buk im so gona read nw tat u rcommend it... [:)] c ya soon

Keshi said...

Good one Sam.

I hv done many things on impulse...and some hv been GREAT while others hv been rather catastrophic :)

I agree...we have to learn to let go. Superb post!

Keshi.

Madhavi said...

Hmmm..mez also gonna read dis book now for sure..d post mkes me read wt do :P U know Sam these r exctly n juz the rite words wt exctly tends 2 be d state of mind whn decisions r ought to b tken n as u ended n vands said...we should realise what is meant to be and what not, n a decision has 2 b tken sm tym or othr..v give out on it or tend 2 make it a form of beautiful balanced thng whch is based on sum or d othr pretence,
V have 2 just take it..n leave itz fate..to fate...
Btw ;) mez also a grt dreamer n as u say I being a thotful gal
so itz justified..lost in thots..dreams :P & about the post..
Way 2 go...sufi post :)grt wrk done buds..:D

Sam said...

@cuckoo:
thnx for the compliments... do read the story... it's awesome!!
as far as reading goes... its been my first hobby!!

@mann:
do read it.. it is beautiful.. and yeah meeting u was great!!

@keshi:
cudn't agree wid u more!! and thnx for the compliments!!

@mads:
its the delay or the unwillingness in taking a decision that forces us to go for a middle path whcih benefits no one!! a never ending vicious cycle that would all repeat, as long as one is alive!!

Superunknown said...

Hey Sam

My expressions blog is closed for a while. Sorry for the inconvinience. I would let you know soon when its up.

Sorry for the inconvinience.

SuperU

Jaded said...

hey,
Know wat,a colleague got this book a few days back at work...and having moved on to far racier stuff, i never thought i'd give it a read netime...its ruskin bond, and i haven't read much of his works except text books in school! But after this description, then i guess i'll get hold of that and read it.
As far as decisions that need to be taken...if only knowing when to hold on or when to let go was so easy...it usually is not!

Sam said...

I knw its not easy, but then the most beautiful things in life do not come from easiest decisions do they??

Aashi Joshi said...

and youv done it again!!!! :D


gr8 job...just the right size... right words..impactful...nothing of a giveaway nature....n ends up making ppl want 2 read it...ud b a gr8 Public Relations person namesake.. :P talk 2 mr bond abt this wud u.. ;)

hm well one things 4 sure...it reminds me of sumthing "potterish" ....

its a decision of taking a pathway of wat is right n wat is easy!!!


plus i agree with the authors choice of place..call me biased...but uttaranchal is a state 2 die 4...b it almora or mussoorie....

in fct iv passed by his house...its unbelievable.....a cottage...away frm the madening crowd.....its gorgeous...n solitary!!! :)

Sam said...

ah!! i agree with you..... utaranchcal has got places to die for.... it seriously does... and for a person who loves mountains!! Mmmmmmm........ I can already imagine so many things!!

Btw, why do you always kep telling me to go aout doing PR job?? I mean, lyk u r the umpteenth to tell me so... and this wud be the umpteenth time... but still i can never understand this one!!

Madhavi said...

mountains....sure thng dude....i lub them 2 :D
n rightly said sam..n mez nevr wanna cm out d cycle so m pretty incapable 2 my decisions :p hehe..:D n wana read the book as soon as my exms gt ovr telln dad 2 buy me a copy....tho books nevr bein my cup of tea bt these kindas...sure y nt...who said i dunno like books..did I :P

Sam said...

mads!!!! talk coherently.. lol....
anywyz, got ur point... another one lusting for teh mountains??

Madhavi said...

hmmm i dunno talk coherently wel then bad luck dear sam..:D glad dt u got my point..yeps sure m game netym n neday for mountain snow n al...:D....

tia said...

Love ruskin bond..wish i could meet him. Have you read 'room on the roof'?A very nice, simple story. He seems to have a mix of endi blyton and charles dickens with a vikram seth twist.

Sam said...

mads!!

@tia: "room on the roof" sure thing!! they very same story where rusty goes off and teaches a young brat... and teh couple die in a car accident... rusty was in love with kid's mum.. dats teh one right??

Madhavi said...

sam........isnt ur comment incomplete!!!!!! :p n btw yesh room on d roof ive itactly my lil bro owns it..it gud :)

Sam said...

lolzzz......... mads, u knw wot... tchah!! forget it!! just go to the mountains and become a hermit... i knw u'll love it!!

Madhavi said...

sam..........u na.....arrey i gt ur point re...juz ws pullin ur leg...lolol.....:) gawd mez an hermit haha.......u l nevr sudhro wil u :P

Sam said...

me and sudhrofy??? u gotta be joking!! lol....
anywyz, wot makes u go off for abt a month??

nandhini said...

hey i lik this very much....
i was tempted to read bcoz
my name is SHAMLI

Sam said...

hey thnx a lot for dropping by. am glad u liked it!!
and your name really [i]is[/i] Shamli?????
god!! :)

rambeer said...

Nice work .. beautifully presented .
Thanks

sravika said...

ruskin makes us anything he wants,a dremer too.i vil definitely read dis buk as itz his story

K?K! said...

ruskin bond takes me down memory lane. time stops at shamli paints the perfect picture, online shamli no more is what its described as...
y dont u write any more..more about ruskin bond!