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 the boy’s mother. He learns that the boys name is Suresh. Suresh’s father had been very upset and disappointed when Suresh was born. He like all other expectant fathers had wanted a child, a normal boy. He had long since given up hope of bringing his child back to normality. It is difficult to criticize the father for not taking much interest in the boy. But the parents are the ones who have to encourage and motivate their children especially if they suffer from any handicap. Suresh had been disregarded by his father at the developmental stages of his life. He had been allowed to grow without any proper guidance. His mother was the only one who showed him any love or affection. He was looked down upon by e