He started writing at the age of 16. His stories are read by people from the age of nine to 90. Author Ruskin Bond continues to weave his magic spell on readers with his stories even at this age.
With more than 100 novels to his credit, he has won multiple awards, including the Sahitya Akademi Award for English writing in India, the Padma Shri and the Padma Bhushan. The prolific writer proves the statement, age is just a number with his writings which are fresh and can connect with many.
Indian author of British descent who lives in Mussoorie wrote his first short story, ‘Untouchable’, and since then, he has been every avid reader’s favourite.
His book ‘A flight of pigeons’ was made into a Hindi film Junoon It was produced by Shashi Kapoor and directed by Shyam Benegal. He also appeared in Vishal Bhardwaj’s 7 Khoon Maaf and The Blue Umbrella which were based on his short stories.
As he turns 81 today, Hyderabadis reminisce about the first time they read his books and what about his writings they like the most.
The first story I read by Ruskin Bond was from the book, ‘Ghost Stories of the Raj’. It gave me goosebumps and I have since then looked at peepul trees with less friendliness even if that story disproved ghosts. Also, the stories I read were set in the Northern part of India. I hadn’t been to North India at that time and his stories painted a particular picture for me – quaint spaces. It is based on those impressions that I still look at or remember those spaces.
Sindhu Sree, corporate employee
I haven’t read any full fledged novel of his. But, some of the most profound insights into stories of childhood and innocence, I learnt through short stories in my English text book. The best thing about his stories, firstly, were the resplendent settings he describes. They are always raw and wild. For him that was always the ultimate fear of the unknown. Plus, his conflicts are not about good versus evil or moralistic. They are always about the simple every day choices we make.
Suhani Dewra, Corporate Employee
I recently read his book ‘Our Trees Still Grow in Dehra’ for which he was awarded Sahitya Akademi Award in 1992. That was the first book I read, that was written by him. The book is a collection of short stories from his life. From that, I realised that he has had quite a lonely life. I liked a few of the stories he had written, especially the ones from his childhood. I look forward to reading more of his writings.
K Aditya, freelance photographer
I loved reading Bond’s books right from childhood. His style of writing is not only enjoyable but thought provoking as well. His approach to child characters, their activities, their desires, his style of story telling is so easy to understand. The stories also blend closely with the society around us. My favourites include, ‘A flight of pigeons’, ‘The Blue Umbrella’ and the intense ‘Susanna’s Seven Husbands’. He is a creative genius.
Vijay Marur, theatre artiste
This is the Bond that adventured in Mussourie and became an Anglo-Indian hero without guns or (at least as far as I know) girls. This is the Bond that told us short stories that endeared us to the genre. This is the Bond who never needed a licence to thrill.