Being an Indian, our conversation on books and writings will be incomplete without the mention of Ruskin Bond – Indian Williams Wordsworth.
Ruskin Bond’s writing journey spreads over 7 decades but the Padma Bhushan and Padma Shri awardee had his own challenges at being a writer. He now has to his credit over 500 short stories, essays and novels and more than 50 children’s books and two volumes of his autobiography. So lets go back in time and see how it all started.
Ruskin Bond was born to Edith Clerke and Aubrey Bond in Kasuli (Himachal Pradesh) in 1934. It’s when he was 4 years old; his parents divorced and later on his mother married an India. He was very close to his father and at the age of 8, he ran away from his boarding school to Delhi to be with his father and his time spent there was filled with books, visits to cinemas and walks with his father which soon turned tragic after the demise of his father in 1944. Ruskin moved to live with his grandmother in Dehradun. He has spent his growing up days in Jamnagar, Dehradun, New Delhi and Shimla.
Ruskin Bond did most of his schooling in Shimla at Bishop Cotton School. In 1951, after his boards exams, Bond wanted to write stories but no one else shared his vision and when he told his mother about his plans of becoming a writer, his mother laughed saying with his good handwriting, he could only be a clerk in a lawyer’s office. His mother wanted him to join the Army and his school headmaster wished for him to be a Teacher but both these ideas terrified Bond.
When Ruskin wanted books, he could not afford them much but there was a leading library from where he could borrow as many books as he liked for 2 Rupess and that’s when he got to read some wonderful books and great titles. While he would get money from his step-father, Bond wanted to have his own way with making money. So he started writing stories and skits using his step-father’s old type writer and send it to all magazines and newspapers in India. Finally, “My Magazine of India” from Madras sent him a money order of 5 rupees for one of his work and then there was no stopping Ruskin Bond. He bombarded them with everything that he wrote and the money orders kept coming in too.
His first novel “Room on the Roof”, a story of an Anglo Indian boy Rusty was written when Ruskin Bond was just 17 years old and published when he was 21 and it received the John Llewellyn and Rhys Memorial Prize in 1957.
Children have been the main theme of most of his books as Ruskin likes to write about his lonely childhood in his books. He also likes to be surrounded by children and belives one can’t be a good writer if you are not interested in people.
Ruskin Bond thinks that the only thing that has changed in so many years of his writing is that he has become more philosophical because as older you get, your views about life change. When he was in his 20’s he wrote more of love stories and as he grew, his writing changed to more of humorous as he found life to be very funny.
Bond’s work has also been made in to movies as the 1978 movie Junoon was based on his book “A Filght of Pegions” produced by Sashi Kapoor and Directed by Shyam Benegal. This book “The Blue Umbrella” was made into a movie in 2005 by Vishal Bharadwaj who also made the movie 7 Khoon Maaf with Priyanka Chopra based on Ruskin’s book “Susanna’s Seven Husbands“. Some of Rusty’s stories have also been shown on Doordarshan as Ek the Rusty. “The Night Train at Deoli”, “Time Stops at Shamli” and “Our Trees Still Grow in Dehra” have been incorporated into the school curriculum.
Ruskin now lives in Landour, Missourie whith his extended family and likes to stay low proile and away from the lights of media. India’s beloved author is still full of vigour at the age of 86 as he continues to write and tell stories.
If life permits and dreams do come to reality, I wish to meet Ruskin Bond in person, talk to him and know him as an author and as a person. I would for sure love to have my kids meet him aswell as my daughter is alredy reading his books and it would for sure be a historical event in our life to meet a legend like Bond.
Source: Articles from Times of India and Wikipedia.
With this post I am taking my blog to the next level with Blogchatters #MyFriendAlexa and you will find my post under the hashtag of #mummatalkswrites on all social media platforms.