05-07-2017 05:00 PM | Lathika Saju | My Indian Dream
One of India’s finest and most prolific writers brings out the quiet magic of small places in India
“There are so many lovely things to see, there is so much to do, so much fun to be had, and so many charming and interesting people to meet ...How can my pen ever run dry”, these words by Ruskin Bond portray his love for writing which eventually became his career that spanned well over six decades. Ruskin Bond is very popular in India for promoting children’s literature.
Ruskin Bond was born to a British couple, Edith Clarke and Aubrey Bond on 19 May 1934 in Kasauli, Punjab, British India. Ruskin was very close to his father who died when Ruskin was only 10 years old.
He attended the Bishop Cotton School in Shimla, from where he graduated in 1950. He was an avid reader who enjoyed devouring the books of T. E. Lawrence, Charles Dickens, Charlotte Bronte and Rudyard Kipling.
Soon he took to writing and won many writing competitions in school. He wrote one of his first short stories ‘Untouchable’ at the age of 16 in 1951.
After his graduation, he went the U.K. in search of better prospects. There, he began working on his first novel, ‘The Room on the Roof’. The book won the John Llewellyn Rhys Prize in 1957. It introduced readers to the unforgettable Rusty, the orphan from Dehradun.
Ruskin’s characters were so charming and eccentric that it stayed in the reader’s mind for a long time. He was able to bring to life, the mountains, valleys and rivers of India and the quiet magic of small, tucked away towns.
When he started earning money from writing, he returned to India and settled in Dehradun and later shifted to Mussoorie where he devoted most of his time to writing.
Soon his works became very popular and his essays and articles appeared in prestigious newspapers and magazines like ‘The Pioneer’, ‘The Leader’, ‘The Tribune’, and ‘The Telegraph’. He also edited a magazine for four years.
His writings caught the attention of Penguin Books who published ‘The Room on the Roof’ and its sequel ‘Vagrants in the Valley’ in 1993. There was no stopping for Ruskin who experimented with different genres including fiction, essays, autobiographical, non-fiction, romance, and books for children.
He has authored over 500 short stories, essays and novels, more than 50 books for children, and two volumes of autobiography, ‘Scenes from a Writer's Life’ and ‘The Lamp is Lit’.
Bollywood’s famous director, Vishal Bhardwaj made a beautiful film based on Ruskin’s novel for children, ‘The Blue Umbrella’ in 2007. Many more of his works have been adapted for television and films like the movie, ‘7 Khoon Maaf’, which is based on Bond’s short story ‘Susanna's Seven Husbands’.
Ruskin Bond , the effortless and successful writer won several awards including the Padma Shri in 1999 and Padma Bhushan in 2014. His life was dedicated to writing. He never married. He lives with his adopted family in Mussoorie.
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