A writer of Anglo-Indian descent, Bond is the quintessential Indian writer in English and a lifelong lover of
In 1944, as the Second World War still raged on, Ruskin’s father passed away, succumbing, not to the war, but to malaria. Rusty, along with his siblings and mother, had to move to
He was seventeen when The Room on the Roof, his first novel came out. The book won the John Llewellyn Rhys Prize. The book’s advance, 50 pounds, helped him buy a ticket to return to
Upon returning, Bond set up base in the hills in north
Any day now, I shall have to shut up shop and join the ranks of salaried clerks or teachers. Any day now, I shall find that I no longer make a living as a freelance. Any day now…
I’ve had this dread for the past five years, but somehow, just when the going gets really rough and my bank balance touches rock-bottom, something does in fact turn up…and if I can go on writing, not always in the way I want to—because, if cheques are to be received, deadlines and editorial preferences must be met—but pretty much as I want to.
Any day now…
[From My Notebook, Ruskin Bond]
The books continued getting published, too. Vagrants in the Valley picked up from where The Room on the Roof trailed off. A series of short stories came along too, most of them marked by a stunning simplicity of language and an innate intimacy with nature.
People often ask me why my style is so simple. It is, in fact, deceptively simple, for no two sentences are really alike. It is clarity that I am striving to attain, not simplicity…Of course some people want literature to be difficult. And there are writers who like to make their readers toil and sweat. They hope to be taken more seriously that way. I have always tried to achieve a prose that is easy and conversational. And those who think this is simple should try it for themselves.
[Introduction: The Best of Ruskin Bond]
His novella, A Flight of Pigeons, set against the backdrop of the 1857 Sepoy Mutiny, the first Indian rebellion against the
About half a dozen novels and novellas, hundreds of short stories and essays, and more than thirty children’s books later, Bond’s pen is far from retirement. Settled in the quiet charm of Landour, a hill station in the lap of
It must be the land itself that holds me. But so many of my fellow Indians have been born (and reborn) here, and yet they think nothing of leaving the land. They will leave the mountains for the plains; the villages for the cities; their country for another country…
But it’s more than the land that holds me. For
Race did not make me an Indian. Religion did not make me an Indian. But history did. And in the long run, it’s history that counts.
[At Home In
Ruskin Bond touches a cord in me the same way as Wordsworth and Tagore do. For, his heartwarming relationship with nature and the spectacular simplicity of his words never fail to remind me of the magnificent beauty a glistening dew drop or the song of a skylark hold.
And the natural thing for me to do now would be to lead you all to Matt, the next link in the AW chain. Follow the trail…
At Home, Writing
Fireflies in the Cloud
The Road Less Traveled
Mad Scientist Matt's Lair
Youth - Our Most Valuable Natural Resource
Kappa no He
The Secret Government Eggo Project