Ruskin Bond lives in the hill station of Mussoorie in Dehradun district. A library by the name Cambridge Book Depot has the all the collections of his short stories, poems and novels. The library is dedicated to him. People in Dehradun are very fond of Ruskin Bond. His stories are real life narratives. Much of his writings are autobiographical in nature.
No better day than his birthday to celebrate his work and reflect on his journey.
-Ruskin bond is an award winning author who writes books on children stories.
-He has received Sahitya academy award for his work “Our tress still grow in Dehra” in 1992.
-His very popular novella called The Blue Umbrella was made into a Bollywood film by the same name, which won the National Film’s award for children in 2007.
-After the age of 16, he moved to US for better job opportunities but returned later and started his career as freelance writer of short stories and poems. He stated his career by writing for newspapers and magazines.
-Several of his collections like ‘Room on the roof’ and ‘Vagrants in the valley’ were published by Penguins Books, after which he received Padma shree in 1999 and Padma Bhushan in 2014 for his literary work.
-At the age of 16, he wrote his first short story named “Untouchable” in 1951.
-He has been writing for the past five decades and experimenting with different genres.
-One of his collection of short stories, ‘Susanna’s Seven Husbands’ has been depicted through a Bollywood movie called ‘7 Khoon Maaf’.
-One of his master piece was ‘The flight of Pigeons’, which was also adapted into another Bollywood film called ‘Junoon’ in 1978.
Here in Dehradun, he is clearly the most famous person. Young people I came across are unconditional in their love and affection for Ruskin Bond’s short story and his writing style. Sakshi Rawat, who is a B tech graduate and is presently living in Dehradun narrates her affection for Bond’s collection of short stories. She says, “I have read his very famous novella, ‘Room on the roof’ and I fell in love with his style of writing. Since, I belong to this place I can clearly relate to Ruskin Bond’s description of northern region of India, especially, the life in mountains and simplicity of people living here.
She is an ardent reader of Ruskin Bond’s short stories, poems and novels. “I love the way he describes small little things like bazars, hiils, streets, street vendors and fills charm and life through his writing. The stories are not very long, they are generally very short and simple which is easily understandable”, she added.
Another voracious reader, Somdyuti Duttaray, who is a fan of Ruskin’s writing narrates her own experience of reading novels. “ I have read many short stories but one my favourite novels is ‘A Flight of Pigeons’ , which is a description of an English family during the time of sepoy mutiny of 1857. Ruskin Bond has a great depth of local subjects and therefore his narrative idea is amazing. He is a spectator who keenly observes people and the place and then describes vividly. I have been to hill stations and after reading his short stories I can relate everything”.
Dehradun has many libraries and shops where a collection of Ruskin Bond’s short stories are compiled. Prakash, who is an owner of a Barrista shop in Rajpur Road in Dehradun says, “Ruskin Bond is very popular among children as well as adults. Every other day, we have customers who specifically demand his novels. We sell around 100 to 150 books monthly.”
Ruskin Bond is master of his work, who can create stories from ordinary lifestyles of people living in the foothills of Himalayas. And that simplicity to us all is the power of Ruskin Bond’s work and words.
Kavya is an intern with She The People