The Window by Ruskin Bond
In The Window by Ruskin Bond we have the theme of friendship, connection, change, escape and isolation. Taken from his Complete Short Stories collection the story is narrated in the first person by an unnamed male narrator and after reading the story the reader realises that Bond may be exploring the theme of connection. Both Koki and the narrator strike up a close friendship and spend many nights looking through the window of the narrator’s room. The window itself may be important as Bond may be symbolically using it to suggest the idea of escape. The world that Koki and the narrator see from the window is far different from the environment that both find themselves in. The window also appears to be the centre point of Koki and the narrator’s friendship. Though their friendship only lasts a few months they still nonetheless spend most of their time together. Something that is clearer when Koki decides to decorate the roof. This action may be important as it could suggest that Koki dislikes everything she sees in the environment around her. She wants to change it in order to feel better about herself.
Overall the window and its significant cannot be underestimated. Not only does it bring Koki and the narrator closer together but it also helps alleviate any anxiety that both character have when it comes to the world that surrounds them. Though Bond does not give the reader a direct reason as to why Koki or the narrator might want to escape. It is possible that they have outgrown their environment and what is on offer to them. Hence wanting to changes things on the roof. Koki in particularly in a young girl and she may be of the age in whereby she is dissatisfied with life and sees change as being a way to improve her life. The narrator on the other and might already be satisfied with life. For him he has the best room on the roof because he has the window. He has a world in which he can escape into at any time feels the need to. The fact that Koki prefers the window open may also be important as it is as though she manages or is able to connect herself easier to the world she sees.
It might also be a case that Bond is highlighting the importance of a connection between two people. Both Koki and the narrator have one thing in common which keeps them connected. The Window. The struggles that they might feel in life lessen while they stand by the window and look out across the city. It is as though they have their own private cinema in whereby they are able to escape the mundane realities of lie. Though there is no romantic relationship between Koki and the narrator they still share precious moments together in whereby they not only escape from life but they can dream of better things. There is also sense of simplicity in both characters’ lives. Which may also be important as neither character may be looking for very much in live. Simple things like growing plants on the roof to help both Koki and the narrator to feel more connected to their environment. It is as though they want the outside world that they see through the window to be nearer them. So near that the reality may be that Koki and the narrator might wish to be able to touch the world around them. Which may leave the reader suspecting that Bond is attempting to highlight the power of nature.
The end of the story is also interesting as it is tinged in sadness. Koki’s stay is over and she won’t be back for a year leaving the reader to suspect that the narrator knows that he will be lonely not having anyone to share his room or window with. It is also interesting that the narrator closes the window after Koki leaves. Symbolically this may be important as the narrator may be isolating himself from the word. The trigger being that fact that Koki has left. So has Koki’s influence on the narrator. Not only was Koki the narrator’s friend but she brought joy to him. Koki was the only one allowed into the narrator’s room and just as the narrator was excited by the world he could see through his window. So too was Koki. Now that the narrator has nobody to share the window with it no longer has the small pull on him that it previously had. Something that is clearer to the reader by way of the fact that the narrator will not open the woman again till the spring and when he sees Koki. It is as though the narrator has taken Koki’s departure personally. Just as personally as someone who might lose a friend may do. The the narrator may feel as though he has the world at his feet. However more importantly he wants to share this world with someone else.