Ruskin Bond

Anglo-Indian writer, Ruskin Bond


19 May 1934 (1934-05-19) (age 75) Kasauli, Himachal Pradesh, India

Occupati Writer on Nationali Indian ty Writing period Genres 1951-present Contemporary

Autobiographical, Semiautobiographical, Fiction, NonSubjects fiction, novella writer, novelist, children and young adult's writer

Ruskin Bond, born 19 May 1934, is an Indian author of British descent. He is considered to be an icon among Indian writers and children's authors and a top novelist. In 1992 he received the Sahitya Akademi award for English writing in India. He was awarded the Padm Shree in 1999 for contributions to children's literature. He now lives with his adopted family in Mussoorie.


• • •

1 Early Life 2 Education 3 Literary Style

Early Life
Ruskin Bond was born in Kasauli (Himachal Pradesh). His father was Aubrey Alexander Bond who served in the RAF during World War II. He had one sister and brother - Ellen and William Bond. When the writer was 8, his mother separated from his father and married a Punjabi-Hindu Mr.Hari who himself was married once. At the age of ten Ruskin went to his grandmother's in Dehra because of his father's sudden death due to frequent bouts of malaria and jaundice. He has lived in Landour since the 1960s, having previously also lived, as a child and young man, in Shimla, Jamnagar, Mussoorie, Dehradun, and London.

Ruskin Bond studied in Bishop Cotton School in Shimla, which is one of the oldest boarding schools in Asia, having been founded on 28 July, 1859, by Bishop George Edward Lynch Cotton. He is one of the most successful writers from Bishop Cotton, which has produced several writers.

Literary Style
Most of his writings show a strong influence from the social 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 Dehra, in his small rented room on the roof, and his friends. The "Room On the Roof" brought him the John Llewellyn Rhys Memorial Prize in 1957. Since then he has written over three hundred short stories, essays and novellas (including Vagrants in The Valley and The Flight of Pigeons) and more than 30 books for children. He has also published two volumes of autobiography. Scenes from a Writer's Life, which describes his formative years growing up in Anglo-India, and The Lamp is Lit, a collection of essays and episodes from his journal.
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Ruskin Bond's Treasury of Stories for Children

Table of Contents Introduction A Long Walk With Granny Animals on the Track A Tiger in the House The Playing Fields of Simla The Wind on Haunted Hill Riding Through the Flames A Rupee Goes a Long Way The Flute Player The Night the Roof Blew Off Faraway Place The Tree Lover How Far is the River? The Haunted Bicycle Whistling in the Dark Four Boys on a Glacier The Cherry Tree Picnic at Fox-Burn Panther's Moon The Leopard The Thief The Fight The Boy Who Broke the Bank

Chachi's Funeral The Tunnel The Prospect of Flowers A Face in the Dark The Room of Many Colours The Last Tonga Ride The Funeral All Creatures Great and Small Coming Home to Dehra What's Your Dream? Life with Uncle Ken The Crooked Tree Untouchable A Crow for All Seasons Upon an Old Wall Dreaming

.I specially like" The Crooked Tree", "What's Your Dream?",and "The Playing Fields of Shimla". It does not matter how old u become, the freshness of those stories wiil always remind u the happiest time of your life.............. the childhood. •


Short Story: The Kitemaker
Saturday, 02.05.2009, 01:31pm THERE WAS BUT ONE tree in the street known as Gali Ram Nathan ancient banyan that had grown through the cracks of an abandoned mosque—and little Ali's kite had caught in its branches. The boy, barefoot and clad only in a torn shirt, ran along the cobbled stones of the narrow street to where his grandfather sat nodding dreamily in the sunshine of their back courtyard.

Short Story Masterji
Saturday, 04.07.2009, 04:18pm I WAS STROLLING ALONG the platform, waiting for the arrival of the Amritsar Express, when I saw Mr Khushal, handcuffed to policeman. I hadn't recognized him at first—a paunchy gentleman with a lot of grey in his beard and a certain arrogant amusement in his manner. It was only when I came closer, and we were almost face to face, that I recognized my old Hindi teacher. Startled, I stopped and stared. And he stared back at me, a glimmer of recognition in his eyes. It was over twenty years since I'd last seen him, standing jauntily before the classroom blackboard, and now here he was tethered to a policeman and looking as jaunty as ever . . 'Good—good evening, sir,' I stammered, in my best public school manner. (You must always respect your teacher, no matter what the circumstances.) Mr Khushal's face lit up with pleasure. 'So you remember me! It's nice to see you again, my boy.

A Tiger in the house
Saturday, 23.05.2009, 02:17pm IMOTHY, THE TIGERCUB, WAS discovered by Grandfather on a hunting expedition in the Terai jungle near Dehra. Grandfather was no shikari, but as he knew the forests of the Siwalik hills better than most people, he was persuaded to accompany the party—it consisted of several Very Important Persons from Delhi—to advise on the terrain and the direction the beaters should take once a tiger had been spotted.

Disabled get better facilities this election
Thursday, 14.05.2009, 12:09pm By Amrish Baagri DEHRADUN, 13 May: The disabled persons were more or less happy with the special arrangements made for them, today, at polling booths by the Election Commission. The visually handicapped were happy as for the first time they were able to cast the vote in

complete secrecy without any help. For the first time ever, Braille strips giving the candidates’ names and their symbols were provided to the visually-handicapped at the polling booths. However, wheelchair bound people were unhappy as ramps were not available for them on every polling booth. Ramps were available at only those polling booths set up in primary schools. Visually handicapped PS Chauhan, resident of Canal Road, was happy that he could exercise his franchise without any help for the first time ever. He cast his vote at the Government Intermediate College, Kishanpur.

SHORT STORY The Thief (PART 1 & 2)
Saturday, 25.04.2009, 11:34am

I WAS STILL A thief when I met Arun and though I was only fifteen I was an experienced and fairly successful hand. Arun was watching the wrestlers when I approached him. He was about twenty, a tall, lean fellow, and he looked kind and simple enough for my purpose. I hadn't had much luck of late and thought I might be able to get into this young person's confidence. He seemed quite fascinated by the wrestling. Two well-oiled men slid about in the soft mud, grunting and slapping their thighs. When I drew Arun into conversation he didn't seem to realize I was a stranger. 'You look like a wrestler yourself/ I said. 'So do you,' he replied, which put me out of my stride for a moment because at the time I was rather thin and bony and not very impressive physically. 'Yes,' I said. 'I wrestle sometimes.' 'What's your name?' 'Deepak,' I lied.

The Eyes Have It
Friday, 10.04.2009, 01:31pm

I HAD THE TRAIN compartment to myself up to Rohana, then a girl got in. The couple who saw her off were probably her parents. They seemed very anxious about her comfort and the woman gave the girl detailed instructions as to where to keep her things, when not to lean out of windows, and how to avoid speaking to strangers. They called their goodbyes and the train pulled out of the station. As I was totally blind at the time, my eyes sensitive only to light and darkness, I was unable to tell what the girl looked like. But I knew she wore slippers from the way they slapped against her heels. It would take me some time to discover something about her looks and perhaps I never would. But I liked the sound of her voice and even the sound of her slippers.

Ruskin Bond THE W R I T E R

The Leopard by Ruskin Bond
July 27, 2008 by mystic wanderer I am presently perusing a collection of short stories titled “Best Indian Short Stories – Volume I, selected (not edited?) by Khushwant Singh. Many of the stories are translations. So it is not necessarily a collection of best Indian stories written in English, but claiming to encompass the entire literary gamut of the subcontinent. This is a difficult task, and the superlative title is one certainly destined to remain incomplete or essentially unfulfilled in scope. For there are gems hidden in every language, for instance Bangla, of West Bengal, which has produced brilliant poets and writers and continue to do so, is not represented at all in any of the stories in Volume I, though there are several stories based in Calcutta (oops, Kolkata now). But such debates are perhaps unavoidable for any such collection aiming to represent the best of breed of anything. What is best is also transitory and quintessentially subjective, thus the futility of any such claims. Putting behind such argumentative propensities, some of the stories thus far have been quite engrossing, a motley mix of social landscapes, communal tensions, humor, introspection and adventure, perhaps more. I have always liked reading Ruskin Bond, his quiet, personal narrative of reflective characters far away from any sort of limelight, and there are two of his stories here. One of them, “The Leopard”, is a shorter version of what I had read earlier, in a collection titled “The Night Train at Deoli and Other Stories”, published by Penguin in 1988. This one is much shorter, and appears to end suddenly, though I must admit that the thematic essence, that of human intervention of nature, is not really lost. I wonder if it was Mr. Bond who revised his story, or Mr. Singh (and hopefully with the writers’ consent). I would be grateful to anyone who could could shed some light on the matter, the motive behind the revision and the choice of the latter in this collection. And wouldn’t it be wonderful, if Mr. Bond or Mr. Singh would chance upon my humble piece here and express their ideas? If such a wish were to come true, and Mr. Bond or Mr. Singh or both happen to read this at some point in the future since its writing, I would still be bold enough to make the statement that revisions, and some would argue strongly against it, do not always end up producing a better story. Was the newer intended to replace the former, or simply to coexist? That is my question.

My case to the point: The grandiose Biblical quote that concludes the butchered version somehow doesn’t resonate as well as the simple D.H. Lawrence quote in the former: “There was room in the world for the mountain lion and me.”

Novels/Novellas The room on the roof Delhi is not far The senualist Vagrants in the valley A flight of pigeons

Short Stories

The woman on platform no. 8 The photograph The coral tree The Window Chachi's funeral The man who was Kipling The eyes have it The thief The boy who broke the bank His neighbour's wife The night train at Deoli The garlands on his brow Sita and the river When you can't climb trees anymore The funeral Time stops at Shamli Dust on the mountain The tunnel Masterji The haunted bicycle Whispering in the dark The most potent medicine of all

A guardian angel Death of a familiar The kite maker The monkeys The prospect of flowers A case for Inspector Lal The story of Madhu A job well done The cherry tree My father's trees in Dehra Panther's moon The leopard Love is a sad song A love of long ago The room of many colours Most beautiful The fight Going home Listen to the wind Dead man's gift He said it with arsenic Hanging at the Mango-Tope

Eyes of the cat A tiger in the house Escape from Java All creatures great and small

A crow for all seasons Tiger, tiger, burning bright Untouchabe Coming home to Dehra

What's your dream? Calypso Christmas The last time I saw Delhi As time goes by Death of the trees The girl from Copenhagen Tribute to a dead friend Miss Bun and others

The last tonga ride The good old days Binya passes by From small beginnings Would Astley return? The trouble with Jinns My first love The daffodil case

Essays and Vignettes Life at my own pace A little world of mud Upon an old wall dreaming At home in India Bird life in the city Pedestrian in peril In the garden of my dreams Adventures in a banyan tree Thus spoke crow The old gramaphone Adventures of a book lover A golden voice remmebered Getting the juices flowing Home is under the big top Escape to nowhere Owls in the family From my notebook

Travel Writings Ganga descends The magic of Tungnath Flowers on the Ganga Footloose in Agra Beautiful Mandakini On the road to Badrinath Mathura's hallowed haunts Street of the red well

Songs and Love Poems Lost It isn't time thats passing Cherry tree Lone fox dancing A frog screams Raindrop
Ruskin has probably written many more poems. If anyone can add to the list, send the info through e-mail to Pushkin Passey at

Love lyric for Binya Devi Kites Lovers observed Secondhand shop in hillstation A song for lost friends

. .

Ruskin Bond Biography
Better perceived as the Indian 'William Wordsworth', Ruskin Bond was born in Kasauli in the then Punjab Province in the year 1934. Born to a first generation British migrant, Bond spent most of his childhood in amidst Himalayas. He was brought up at different places that included Jamnagar, Dehradun and Shimla. As customary in that period he went to England for his primary studies. Although Bond was studying in England, his mind rested in India. He had forged an intimate relationship with the Himalayas and longed for it. Bond started displaying his literary talent in England. He wrote his first novel named 'Room On The Roof' when he was all of 17 years. The book made him win prestigious 'John Llewellyn Rhys' Prize that is awarded to British Commonwealth Writers who are under the age of 30. The book was primarily based in and around Himalayas and was successful in capturing its beauty and ethos in a manner that was never tried before. Its sequel named 'Vagrants in the Valley' followed it. Riding on the success of these two novels, Ruskin took the journey back home. Ruskin Bond has now been writing for more than 5 decades. He has stressed more on the local elements of Himalayas in his writings. His writing style is distinct in a way that it tries to make reader understand the landscape and ethos through carefully mastered words. His writings have won him both tremendous critical acclaim as well as a long list of fans through out the literary world. Replete with unassuming humor and quiet wisdom, his stories manifest a deep love for nature and people. His mesmerizing descriptions about the flora and fauna of Himalayas can not be missed in his 100 something short stories, essays, novels, and more than thirty books of children that he has written. His works has inspired several generations of writers, authors and scriptwriters. His novel named 'The Flight of Pigeons' has been adapted into the acclaimed Merchant Ivory film Junoon. Another less known novel named 'The Room on the Roof' has been adapted in to a BBC produced TV series. Nevertheless his greatest achievement comes

from the fact that several of his short stories from his collections have been incorporated in the school curriculum all over India. It includes jewels such as The Night Train at Deoli, Time Stops at Shamli and Our Trees Still Grow in Dehra. In spite of all these successes, Bond can be concluded today as a media-shy and reclusive literary genius. He spends his days with his adopted family at a place close to Dehradun. He received the Sahitya Akademi Award for English writing in India for 'Our Trees Still grows in Dehra' in 1992. He has also been conferred with Padma Shri, one of the most prestigious civil awards in India.

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The Eyes Have It (Short Story)
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The Eyes Have It (also known as The Girl on the Train & The Eyes Are Not Here) is a short story by Ruskin Bond that was originally published in Contemporary Indian English Stories. The narrator of this story, a blind man whose eyes were sensitive only to light and darkness, was going to Dehradun by train when he met a girl and had a chit-chat with her. It was only after she left and another passenger came into the compartment that the narrator realizes the girl was blind.

[edit] Summary
Up to Rohana, the narrator was alone in the compartment. A girl boarded the compartment from there. The couple who bid her goodbye at the station were anxious about her well-being and advised her a lot regarding where to keep her belongings, not to lean out of the windows and to avoid talking to strangers. Once the train left the station, the narrator started a conversation asking if she too was going to Dehra. The voice startled her as she thought her to be alone in the compartment. The girl told him that she was going to Saharanpur where her aunt would come to take her home. She also envied the narrator as the hills of Mussoorie, where he was headed to, presented a lovely sight in October (the present month). After some more chit-chats, the narrator told her, quite daringly (as he was blind and couldn't have known her face for sure) that she had an interesting face. She laughed at this and replied that it was indeed a welcome deviation from the oft repeated phrase: "You have a pretty face". Soon it was time for the girl to bid goodbye as the train arrived at her destination. After her departure, a man entered the compartment and apologized, as a matter of fact, for not being as attractive a travelling companion as his predecessor. When the narrator asked him if the girl had her hair long or short, he replied that he had noticed only her eyes, which were beautiful but of no use, as

The Woman on Platform 8
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The Woman on Platform 8 by Ruskin Bond is a story about love and affection that transcends all barriers of kinship. It is narrated in the first person by a school going boy Arun. All the events are seen from his point of view. The story resolves around Arun's encounter with a stranger - a mysterious woman. The woman in a white sari treats him like a son. She offers him tea and snacks. She helps him feel comfortable. Her dignity and humanity come in sharp contrast with the vanity and arrogance of Satish's mother. Arun's calling her 'mother' at the time of parting is a sweet gesture of recognisation of a loving relationship. As a matter of fact, there is no Platform 8 on the Ambala station.

[edit] Summary
Arun, is a 12 year old boy. He studies in a boarding school. His parents are confident that he can travel alone. After meeting his parents, he travels by bus and arrives Ambala at about twelve. He sits on the platform no.8 at Ambala station. His train is to leave hours later at midnight. So he continues to watch the changing scene around. Soon he loses interest in his surroundings. He feels lonely and bored. Suddenly, Arun hears a soft voice from behind. It is a woman in white sari. She looks pale and has dark kind eyes. She wears no jewels. After a brief introduction, she invites Arun for some refreshment at the station dining room. She takes his hand and leads him away. Arun, though shy and suspicious, does not refuse the invitation as he feels it would be too impolite to reject it. The woman orders tea, samosas and jalebies for the boy. The boy eats as much as he can in a polite manner. The woman seems to take a pleasure in watching him eat. Along with the lady, Arun comes back to platform No.8. Now he opens up and tells her about his school, his friends, his likes and dislikes. He forgets that he is talking to a stranger. The woman speaks very little and listens to him intently. Arun's school fellow Satish, along with his mother, appears on the platform. Satish's mother asks Arun if the lady is his mother. Before Arun utters a word by way of explanation, the woman comes to his rescue and says that she is his mother. Satish's mother, being very rich, is proud and haughty in behaviour. She says that there are many suspicious characters hanging around. She behaves that one should be very careful of strangers. The woman does not feel embarrassed. She only remarks that Arun can travel alone. Satish's mother looks sternly at Arun and advises him to be careful in absence of his mother, and never talk to strangers. Arun irritates her by contradicting her,I like strangers. Satish seems to agree with Arun as he grins at him. After some time, the train steams in. Satish and Arun board it. Satish 's mother and the stranger stand on the platform talking to the boys. Of course, it is Satish's mother who does most of the talking. The train starts, Satish says, Good-bye, mother. They wave to each other. Not to be left behind, Arun also utters the farewell words, Good-bye, mother. He continues to gaze at the woman until she disappears in the crowd.

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