Friday, March 9, 2012

Ruskin Bond

Ruskin Bond was born in colonial India on May 19, 1934 at Kasauli in Himachal Pradesh. His parents were Edith Clerke and Aubrey Bond. He spent his childhood in Jamnagar, Dehradun and Shimla. His parents separated ways when he was a child and he went to live with his mother who remarried. He went to study at Bishop Cotton School in Shimla. He spent a quiet and solitary childhood; however he spent a lot of time reading and his father egged him on to write on nature. He understood his calling as a writer really early in life and once he passed out school, he decided to pursue his career as a writer. The Indian Council for Child Education awarded him the Sahitya Academy Award for his role in the growth of children’s literature in India for his story, Our Trees Still Grow in Dehra. His story, The Flight of Pigeons was made into a Merchant Ivory film, Junoon. He has also won the Padma Shri.

Ruskin Bond left for London after school. He lived there for four years doing odd jobs and he was homesick. He was 17 when his first book The Room on theRoof was published and it gained instant popularity and recognition. He won the John Llewellyn Rhys Prize and returned to India and has lived in the hills here ever since. This book was also made into a BBC television series. Soon after, other writings followed such as: Vagrantsin the Valley, Rain in the Mountains, Delhi Is Not Far, The Best of Ruskin Bond, Ghost Stories from the Raj, A Season of Ghosts, A Face in the Dark, and others. His stories reveal and define his love for the Himalayas; his stories revolve around Indians with their idiosyncrasies and warmth. He has dabbled in paranormal writings too as he has always been interested in the paranormal stories from the days of the Raj.

Ruskin Bond’sstories have also been into the school syllabi of different boards. Most of his popular short stories include The Night Train at Deoli, Time Stops at Shamli, The Eyes Have it and Our Trees Still Grow in Dehra. His novels include: Room on the Roof, Scenes from a Writer's Life, A Flight ofPigeons, Landour Days - A writers Journal, The Sensualist, The Road To TheBazar, The Panther's Moon, Once Upon A Monsoon Time and The India I Love. Recently, his short story, Susanna's SevenHusbands was made into a Vishal Bharadwaj film titled 7 Khoon Maaf starring Priyamka Chopra. He made a cameo appearance in the film.

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