“I wanted to write before about your writing, Ruskin, but forget… you have written in very small hand writing, as if you wanted to squeeze a lot of news into one sheet of letter-paper. It’s not good for you and for your eyes… I know your hand writing is good and that you come first in class for hand writing, but try and form a longer style of writing,” his father writes in his letter to Ruskin Bond, a renowned British descent Indian Author of children books.
Ruskin Bond is a living legend who was born on 19 May 1934 in small cantonment town near Himachal Pardesh ,India and turns 79 years old today. Bond has always been interested in books of all types. Some of his favorite authors include Charles Dickens, Emily Bronte, T. E. Lawrence, Rudyard Kipling, and Tagore. His love of books was inspired by his father. His father loved him very much and wanted to make him a creative writer. He also loved his father and missed him very much after his death. He decided to leave India after his high school education to make his career and improve his creative talent and came to England.He narrates his experiences of coming to London and going back to India in The Adventures of Rusty: Collected Stories
When Bond arrived at his Aunt Emily’s home in Jersey, he had only three or four pounds left from his travel money. Since he did not want to be a burden on his relatives, he looked for a job in St. Hailer and got his first job in Jersey. Jersey is a small island, which is fourteen miles away from the French coast. He worked there as a junior clerk.
At the age of twenty he became a publshed author and in his autobiographical work,The Lamp Is Lit, which is a collection of short stories, poems and journal entries.From childhood to old-age his work reflected various incidents of life and many times involved fictionalising his own childhood . Recently, he also said that he would love to re-write and write more childhood novels as now children have more exposure as they had 50 years ago.
In his autobiography, Scenes from a Writer’s Life: A Memoir reveals his longing for the atmosphere of India:
“…even though my forefathers were British, Britain was not really my place. I did not belong to the bright lights of Piccadilly and Leicester Square; or, for that matter, to the apple orchards of Kent or the strawberry fields of Berkshire. I belonged, very firmly, to peepal trees and mango groves; to sleepy little towns all over India; to hot sunshine, muddy canals, the pungent smell of marigolds; the hills of home; spicy odours, wet earth after summer rain, neem pods bursting; laughing brown faces; and the intimacy of human contact”
1n 1963 , he went back to India where he still resides with adopted family.
His books are adapted into films and various children graphic novels.The Blue Umbrella which was adapted into a feature film by Indian Director, Vishal Bhardwaj won National Film Award for Best Children’s Film.
Ruskin Bond has contributed in making three generations of Indian school children into readers. His short- stories, poem and essays- even those written forty or fifty years back- are widely authorized in school texts, and his books are recommended for reading in many schools.