Ruskin Bond

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What are the themes of Ruskin Bond’s “The Kite Maker”?

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Arguably the most important theme of Ruskin Bond’s “The Kite Maker” is the loneliness of old age and how it reduces people to a less dignified state.

The eponymous kite maker, Mehmood, is now entering his twilight years. As with many people of his age, he finds himself alone, without friends or visitors. In addition, most of his family are far away from him due to the partition of India.

What was once a very full and rich life has been reduced to a shadow of what it used to be. Mehmood is no longer the person he once was, someone that everyone widely respected, someone that everyone wanted to know.

He still makes kites—indeed, that’s practically all he can do at his time of life—but he has been reduced by his great age and the loneliness that it brings to such an extent that there’s a marked lack of dignity about his life as it moves toward its inevitable endpoint.

A further theme one can glean from the story is how society can often leave people in its wake as it becomes more modern. Mehmood hasn’t really changed all that much, but society certainly has. It has moved on, whereas Mehmood hasn’t.

Unable to keep up with society’s numerous changes, Mehmood has effectively been left behind, unable to keep up with the world around him, a world in which growing prosperity has improved the lives of many, but at the cost of creating a more atomized society, in which people are more isolated from each other.

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