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 81)
British India
Occupation Writer
Nationality Indian
Period 1951 – present

Ruskin Bond is an Indian author.

The Indian Council for Child Education has recognized his pioneering role in the growth of children's literature in India. The Sahitya Academy awarded him the Sahitya Academy Award in 1992 for Our Trees Still Grow in Dehra, for his published work in english. He was awarded the Padma Shri in 1999 and Padma Bhushan in 2014.[1] 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 Clarke and Aubrey Bond, in Kasauli, Himachal Pradesh. His siblings were Ellen and William. Ruskin's father was with the Royal Air Force from 1939 till his death in 1944. When Bond was seven years old, his mother separated from his father and married a Punjabi Hindu, Mr. Hari, who himself had been married before. Ellen lived in Ludhiana until she passed away in 2014.

Bond spent his early childhood in Jamnagar (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 that year from jaundice. Ruskin was raised by his mother and step father, till he left for England. He did his schooling from Bishop Cotton School in Shimla, from where he graduated in 1950 after winning several writing competitions in the school including the Irwin Divinity Prize and the Hailey Literature Prize. He wrote one of his first short stories, ‘Untouchable’, at the age of sixteen in 1951.

Following his high school education he went to his aunt's house in Channel Islands in the U.K. and stayed there for two years, and later, for three years in London. 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 John Llewellyn Rhys Prize, (1957) 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 a few years freelancing from Delhi and Dehradun. Since 1963 he has lived as a freelance writer in Mussoorie, a town in the Himalayan foothills.[2] 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 supernatural fiction 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 1980.


The 1978 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.[3] 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 five hundred short stories, essays and novels, including Vagrants in The Valley, The Blue Umbrella, Funny Side Up, A Flight of Pigeons and more than 50 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 Rusty stories have been adapted into a DoorDarshan TV series "Ek Tha Rusty". 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 / Anthologies[edit]

  • The Cherry Tree[4]
  • 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 and Other stories
  • 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
  • A Tiger In The House
  • Four Feathers
  • School Days
  • The Tiger In The tunnel
  • Mr. Oliver's diary
  • The Parrot Who Wouldn't Talk
  • The Doctor
  • The Ruskin Bond Children's Omnibus
  • 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
  • A Crow For All The Seasons
  • Hip Hop Nature Boy and Other Poems[5][6]


Awards and Recognitions[edit]


  1. ^ "Padma Awards" (PDF). Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India. 2015. Retrieved July 21, 2015. 
  2. ^ Sinha, Arpita (18 May 2010). "The name is Bond, Ruskin Bond". Retrieved 3 March 2011. 
  3. ^ "Ruskin Bond to do a cameo in 'Saat Khoon..'". The Times Of India. 
  4. ^
  5. ^ Ruskin Bond celebrates 25th anniversary of Penguin in Bangalore EF News International
  6. ^ Two anniversaries and a book launch - International Press Association publication

External links[edit]