India’s best-known writer of children’s stories, Ruskin Bond, turns 87 next week on 19 May. To mark the occasion, he’s releasing an anthology of 25 of his favourite stories in a new book, All Time Favourites for Children (Puffin).
The collection brings together some of the writer’s most loved characters – iconic Rusty, eccentric Uncle Ken, the ubiquitous grandmother – while also introducing us to a smattering of new ones that are sure to become firm favourites with readers. The stories come with excellent and quirky artwork created by Mihir Joglekar.
Heart-warming, funny and spirited, this promises to be a keepsake edition for anyone interested in Indian writing in English.
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Bond, who is a favourite among children and youth alike, took to Instagram and shared a fun image of him holding a soft drink and sporting a fake ‘new moustache’ as he celebrates his “birthday month”.
All Time Favourites for Children is the perfect complement to Bond’s A Song of India released last July to mark the beginning of Bond’s 70-year writing career. In this book he takes the reader back to 1951, his last year in Dehradun before he set sail for England and which later became the basis for his first novel The Room on the Roof.
The Room on the Roof, written when he was 17, received the John Llewellyn Rhys Memorial Prize in 1957. Since then Bond has written over 500 short stories, essays and novellas (including Vagrants in the Valley and A Flight of Pigeons) and more than 40 books for children.
Known as ‘the writer on the hill’ because he lives in Landour, Mussoorie, Bond has said of his literary career, “I am very fortunate to have lived in a beautiful part of the country, in the mountains. I am blessed to have received inspiration from the natural world around me, from children and animals, and all of this is reflected in my works.”
Born in Kasauli (now in Himachal Pradesh) in 1934, Bond grew up in Jamnagar (Gujarat), Dehradun, New Delhi and Simla (now Shimla). He received the Sahitya Akademi Award for English writing in India in 1992, the Padma Shri in 1999, the Delhi government’s Lifetime Achievement Award in 2012, and th4r Padma Bhushan in 2014. He lives in Landour, Mussoorie, with his extended family.
Some of Ruskin Bond’s works have gone on to become iconic Bollywood films. The 1978 Junoon, a film about the rebellion of 1857 produced by Shashi Kapoor and directed by Shyam Benegal, is based on Bond’s A Flight of Pigeons.
Much later in 2011, the Priyanka Chopra starrer Saat Khoon Maaf directed by Vishal Bhardwaj was based on Ruskin Bond’s Susanna’s Seven Husbands. Bond himself has a cameo role in the film.
From IANS and other reports
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