Criticism In Ruskin Bond's Love Is A Sad Song

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Ruskin Bond’s story Love is a Sad Song (first published in 1975) is a wishful reminiscence of an unsuccessful love-affair by a self-critical lover-narrator whose reflection of his affair with a girl almost half of his age opens up interesting avenues of psychoanalytic study. The semi-autobiographical story invites the reader to have a critical look into it not because that it depicts the universal conflict between passionate love and strictures of society, albeit complicated here more for the lover’s being an aged Anglo-Indian and the beloved’s being a school-going young Punjabi girl, but because the lover-narrator’s ironic stance on his own affair. The smooth stream-of–consciousness-like narrative not only details the incidents and mental state of the lover during the active days of his romance, but also undermines the intensity and feasibility of the affair by incorporating the observation of the self-critical narrator who makes gentle fun of his love at the cost of himself. The present article attempts to understand how the narrator of the story turns out to be split subject and how his passionate love is attenuated by the ironic mode of…show more content…
The pungency of psychic mechanism manifest in Love has its genesis in Bond’s real life. In his introduction to the 2015 anthology of his favorite stories chosen by the author himself, Bond writes: Readers often ask me if a particular story is true or not, and sometimes the answers surprises them. ‘Love is a Sad Song’ is a true story, and happened very much in the same way I have described. But of course Sushila wasn’t her real name; and the real Sushila is now a grandmother. In Delhi, you grow old. In Deoli you are trapped in a time warp and stay young

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