“A great book is a friend that never lets you down. You can return to it again and again and the joy first derived from it will still be there” – Ruskin Bond
Simplicity and pragmatism bundled up in a single sentence with no pretense is the classic Ruskin Bond style. An Englishman by birth and a Pahari (people inhabiting the Himalayan regions in North India) by heart, his stories though bracketed as children’s books are a collection of human experiences which everyone can associate with. An awardee of two prestigious Indian awards, he is one of those authors who has brought Indian English literature to its emotive and descriptive pinnacle.
Having settled in Dehradun, a small town on the foothills of the Himalayas in North India, for over 50 years, his stories are hugely influenced by his surroundings and life experiences. An avid reader as a child, certain tumultuous experiences at the age of 4 and 10 greatly steered his writing career. Many of his writings though wrought with humor and wit, somewhere reflect his longing for a secure childhood. Yet this emotion is craftily fused with his rare talent of translating the imagery of nature, ambience and the deeply relatable characters unique to the foothills of the Indian Himalayas into visions through the words he pens down. His stories, some autobiographical and some semi-autobiographical, are so beautifully organic and sprinkled with such unadulterated joy that it seems to exude from the pages itself. This octogenarian author is a true stalwart in today’s day and age who can enrapture the reader at a very personal level, a talent very few writers have had the chance to master.
Must reads: A book of humor, the room on the roof, The blue umbrella, Rusty – the boy from the hills and A book of simple living – brief notes from the hills