Ruskin Bond, born 19 May 1934 in Kasauli Distt Solan, is an Indian author of British descent.
In 1992, he received the Sahitya Akademi award for his short story collection, Our Trees Still Grow in Dehra, given by the Sahitya Academy, 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.
LIFE AND CAREER
Bond was born in a military hospital in Kasauli, brother to Ellen and William, the children of Edith Clerke and Aubrey Bond. Ruskin’s father was with the Royal Air Force. When Bond was four years old, his mother was separated from his father and married a Punjabi-Hindu, Mr. Hari, who himself had been married once. 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 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. Ruskin’s love for books and writing came early to him since his father had surrounded him with books and encouraged him to write little descriptions of nature and he took his son on hikes in the hills.
After 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 Akademi Award in 1992 for Our Trees Still Grow in Dehra. He won the Padma Shri in 1999.
Ruskin commented "The India I Love, does not make the headlines, but I find it wherever I go – in field or forest, town or village, mountain or desert – and in the hearts and minds of people who have given me love and affection for the better part of my lifetime."
Media-shy, he currently lives in Landour, Mussoorie’s Ivy Cottage, which has been his home since 1964
Mr. Bond will release his new book at Landmark, Ambience Mall, Vasant Kunj, New Delhi at 7 pm on June 9th.
Most of his works are 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...