Ruskin Bond is one of India’s most celebrated writers of English literature. His works have a universal appeal, be it on the young or the old. A recipient of the Padmashree award in 1999, he has mastered a unique style of writing which is quite simple and devoid of fatuous frills. Most of his stories are inspired by the natural splendor of his hometown, Mussoorie with its mountains, trees, birds and the simple hillfolk who live in the place.
In the story “Most Beautiful”, Ruskin Bond has tried to bring out certain facts which we tend to overlook. He has portrayed the feelings and the struggles of a retarded child who wishes to be accepted in society. The boy’s craving to lead a normal life and the tortures he has to undergo is highlighted. The society is not only indifferent but also inimical towards him.
The story opens in the bazaar, where the narrator sees a group of schoolboys tormenting and taunting a deformed retarded boy. The boy was desperately trying to free himself by putting forth a torrent of illegible gibberish abuses at them. The hooligans continued to throw stones and mud at the boy. The narrator feels pity on the poor misshape and rescues him from the mischievous boys. He takes the boy home and meets
Suresh felt that the kid received more attention from everyone than himself. He taught him not to deride other human beings and told him that nothing in the world is perfect and everything has its own faults and imperfections. Suresh expressed no feelings at all at this news. As the train starting slowly pulling out of the station he caught sight of Suresh frantically hobbling towards him, Suresh slipped and fell on the platform. Suresh within a short span of time became a good swimmer and this instilled a certain confidence in him and he began to feel some respect for himself. He tried to arouse Suresh interests by talking about birds and animals. Children are sometimes very difficult to understand. He had been allowed to grow without any proper guidance. It is difficult to criticize the father for not taking much interest in the boy. The author soon develops a strong bond with Suresh. He tells her that ugly and beauty are both abstract ideas which have been introduced by man. The author called out to him that he would be back the next year to visit his godson. He learns that the boys name is Suresh.