Ruskin Bond

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Ruskin Bond
Ruskin Bond in Bangalore, India (Jim Ankan Deka photography).jpg
Ruskin Bond at a book release function in Bangalore (June 6, 2012)
Born (1934-05-19) 19 May 1934 (age 80)
British India
Occupation Writer
Nationality India
Period 1934–present

Ruskin Bond (born 19 May 1934) is an Indian author of British descent.

The Indian Council for Child Education recognised his pioneering role in the growth of children's literature in India, and awarded him the Sahitya Akademi Award in 1992 for 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 and Padma Bhushan in 2014. He now lives with his adopted family in Landour, in Mussoorie.

Life and career[edit]

Ruskin Bond was born on 19 May 1934 in a military hospital, to Edith Clerke and Aubrey Bond. His siblings were Ellen and William. At present, his sister Ellen lives in Jallandhar, Punjab and brother William lives in Canada. Ruskin's father was with the Royal Air Force. When Bond was four years old, his mother separated from his father and married a Punjabi-Hindu, Mr. Hari, who himself had been married once.

Bond spent his early childhood in Vijayanagar (Gujarat) 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 was raised by his grandmother. 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 went to his aunt's house in England and stayed there for four years. 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.[1] 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, and A Face in the Dark and other Hauntings.

He currently lives with his adoptive family in Landour, Mussoorie's Ivy Cottage, which has been his house since 1964.


The Hindi film Junoon is based on Bond's historical novella A Flight of Pigeons (about an episode during the Indian Rebellion of 1857). It was produced by Shashi Kapoor and directed by Shyam Benegal.

Ruskin Bond made his maiden big screen appearance with a cameo in Vishal Bhardwaj's film 7 Khoon Maaf, based on his short story Susanna's Seven Husbands. Bond appears as a Bishop in the movie with Priyanka Chopra playing the title role.[2] Bond had earlier collaborated with him in the The Blue Umbrella which was also based on his story.

Literary style[edit]

Most of his works are influenced by life in the hill stations at the foothills of the Himalayas, where he spent his childhood. His first novel, The Room On the Roof, was written when he was 17 and published when he was 21. It was partly based on his experiences at Dehradun, in his small rented room on the roof, and his friends. Since then he has written over three hundred short stories, essays and novels, including Vagrants in The Valley, The Blue Umbrella, Funny Side Up, A Flight of Pigeons and more than 30 books for children. He has also published two volumes of autobiography. Scenes from a Writer's Life describes his formative years growing up in Anglo-India; The Lamp is Lit is a collection of essays and episodes from his journal.

Bond said that while his autobiographical work, Rain in the Mountains, was about his years spent in Mussoorie, Scenes from a Writer's Life described his first 21 years. Scenes from a Writer's Life focuses on Bond's trip to England, his struggle to find a publisher for his first book The Room on the Roof and his yearning to come back to India, particularly to Doon. "It also tells a lot about my parents", said Bond. "The book ends with the publication of my first novel and my decision to make writing my livelihood", Bond said, adding: "Basically, it describes how I became a writer".

His novel, The Flight of Pigeons, has been adapted into the film Junoon. The Room on the Roof has been adapted into a BBC-produced TV series. Several stories have been incorporated in the school curriculum in India, including "The Night Train at Deoli", "Time Stops at Shamli" and Our Trees Still Grow in Dehra. In 2007, the Bollywood director Vishal Bhardwaj made a film based on his popular novel for children, The Blue Umbrella. The movie won the National Award for Best Children's film.

Famous Works[edit]

Collections / Antholgies[edit]

  • The Cherry Tree[3]
  • Garland of Memories
  • Ghost Stories from the Raj
  • Funny Side Up
  • Rain in the Mountains-Notes from the Himalayas
  • Our trees still grow in Dehra
  • Dust on the Mountains
  • A Season of Ghosts
  • Tigers Forever
  • A Town Called Dehra
  • At school with Ruskin Bond
  • An Island of Trees
  • The Night Train at Deoli
  • A Face in the Dark and Other Hauntings
  • Potpourri
  • The Adventures of Rusty
  • The Lost Ruby
  • Crazy times with Uncle Ken
  • The Death Of Trees
  • Tales and Legends from India
  • Time stops at Shamli
  • Grandpa tickles a tiger
  • Four Feathers
  • School Days
  • The Tiger In The tunnel
  • Mr.Olivers diary
  • The Parrot Who Wouldn't Talk
  • The Doctor
  • Rusty - The Boy from Hills
  • The Monkey Trouble
  • Hip Hop Nature Boy
  • Frogs in the fountain and Other Poems
  • Ruskin Bond's Book of Nature
  • Tigers For Dinner: Tall Tales By Jim Corbett's Khansama
  • The Rupa Book of Haunted Houses
  • The Rupa Book of Eerie Stories
  • The Penguin Book of Indian Ghost Stories
  • The Penguin Book of Indian Railway Stories
  • Face in the Dark and Other Haunting Stories (Collection of Bond's ghost stories)
  • Friends in Small Places - Ruskin Bond's Unfogettable People
  • Ruskin Bond's Green Book
  • " Best Friends"



External links[edit]