Ruskin Bond is 79 on Sunday

Dehradun, Uttarkhand: Famous author Padma Shree Ruskin Bond will celebrate his 79th birthday here on May 19, with the release of his bestselling book — A Garland of Memories.

The event will be held at Natraj: The Green Bookshop, at 5 p.m.

In 1992, he received the Sahitya Akademi Award for his short story collection, ‘Our Trees Still Grow in Dehra,’ given by the Sahitya Akademi, India’s National Academy of Literature. He was awarded the Padma Shri in 1999 for contributions to children’s literature. He now lives with his adopted family in Landour near Mussoorie.

Ruskin Bond was born in a military hospital in Kasauli to Edith Clerke and Aubrey Bond. His siblings were Ellen and William. Ruskin’s father was with the Royal Air Force. When Bond was four years old, his mother was separated from his father.

Bond spent his early childhood in Jamnagar and Shimla. At the age of ten Ruskin went to live at his grandmother’s house in Dehradun after his father’s sudden death in 1944 from malaria.ruskin

Ruskin was raised by his mother, who remarried an Indian businessman. He completed his schooling at Bishop Cotton School in Shimla, from where he graduated in 1952 after winning several writing competitions in the school like the Irwin Divinity Prize and the Hailey Literature Prize.

 Following his high school education he spent four years in England. In London he started writing his first novel, The Room on the Roof, the semi-autobiographical story of the orphaned Anglo-Indian boy Rusty. It won the 1957 John Llewellyn Rhys prize, awarded to a British Commonwealth writer under 30.

Bond used the advance money from the book to pay the sea passage to Bombay.

He worked for some years as a journalist in Delhi and Dehradun. Since 1963 he has lived as a freelance writer in Mussoorie, a town in the Himalayan foothills. He wrote ‘Vagrants in the Valley’, as a sequel to The Room on the Roof. These two novels were published in one volume by Penguin India in 1993.

The following year a collection of his non-fiction writings,’ The Best Of Ruskin Bond’ was published by Penguin India. His interest in the paranormal led him to write popular titles such as Ghost Stories from the Raj, A Season of Ghosts, A Face in the Dark and other Hauntings.

 The Indian Council for Child Education recognised his pioneering role in the growth of children’s literature in India, and awarded him the Sahitya Academi Award in 1992 for ‘Our Trees Still Grow in Dehra’.  

Media-shy, he currently lives in Landour, Mussoorie’s Ivy Cottage, which has been his home since 1964.

The event

According to Upendra Arora, convener of the event, Radha Raturi, Principal Secretary, Government of Uttarakhand, shall release the book in the presence of Anil Raturi, Additional Director General of Police.


Mr. Arora added that he expected a good number of old Doonites to be present to share their memories.

A Garland of Memories, is special for Bond as it narrates his account of Doon as he saw it in his childhood. This collection of his writings will make the readers smile, laugh and cry.

He narrates the most extraordinary tales — from his chance encounter with Rudyard Kipling’s ghost, to his adventures with eccentric Uncle Ken, being witness to a bitter battle between a brave snake, a braver mongoose and two foolhardy birds, about the hungry pet python who ate up everyone’s lunch and the mythical snow-woman who almost exists.

All stories, told in Bond’s unique, lucid, simple prose are based on life and its experiences and nudge open a window into the reader’s self.

They are also a sterling example of the often forgotten harmony between man and nature.

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Posted by on May 17, 2013. Filed under Breaking News,India,Print. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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