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Ruskin Bond Wiki/Bio

Ruskin Bond was born on 19 May 1934 to Edith Clarke and Aubrey Alexander Bond, in Kasauli, Punjab States Agency, British India. His dad taught English to the princesses of Jamnagar palace and Ruskin and his sister Ellen lived there until he was six. Afterwards, Ruskin’s father joined the Royal Air Force in 1939 and Ruskin along with his mother and sister went to live at his maternal home at Dehradun.


Rusty was created by Ruskin Bond to write stories about his own past. His first publication, The Room on the Roof, which he composed at age 17, was a semi-autobiographical narrative with Rusty being the protagonist. It was based on his friends and the time he spent in a rented room, when he was in Dehradun. The majority of Rusty’s first years are set at the place of Dehradun, a scenic place in northern India. Ruskin Bond was profoundly attached to Dehra and almost all of his tales are motivated by the hills and valleys of the area.

Shortly after he was sent to a boarding school in Mussourie. When Bond was eight years old, his mother separated from his father and wed a Punjabi Hindu, Hari. His father arranged for Ruskin to be attracted to New Delhi where he had been posted. He was very near his dad and clarifies this period with his father as one of the happiest times of his life. When he was ten, his father died of malaria, while he had been posted in Calcutta. Ruskin was at his boarding school in Shimla and was informed about this catastrophe by his instructor. He had been thoroughly heartbroken. Afterwards, he was raised by his mother and stepfather who dwelt in Dehradun.

He did his schooling from Bishop Cotton School at Shimla, from where he graduated in 1950. He won several writing contests in the school such as the Irwin Divinity Prize and the Hailey Literature Prize. He composed one of his earliest short stories,”Untouchable”, in age sixteen in 1951.

After his high school education he moved to his aunt’s house in the Channel Islands (U.K.) in 1951 for better prospects and remained there for two decades. In London, he began writing his first book, The Room on the Roof, the semi-autobiographical story of the orphaned Anglo-Indian boy named Rusty; he did different jobs for a living. It won the John Llewellyn Rhys Prize, (1957) given to a British Commonwealth author under 30. He moved to London and worked in a photo studio whilst trying to find a publisher. After getting it printed, Bond used the advance cash to cover the sea passage to Bombay and settle in Dehradun


He worked for a couple years freelancing from Delhi and Dehradun. He sustained himself financially by writing short poems and stories for papers and magazines. On his childhood, he said,”Sometimes I got lucky and some [work] got chosen and that I got a few hundred rupees. Since I was in my 20s and did not have any responsibilities I was just pleased to be doing what I loved doing best.” In 1963, he moved to reside in Mussoorie because besides enjoying the place, it was near the publishers and editors in Delhi. He edited a magazine for four decades. In the 1980s, Penguin set up in India and approached him to write some books. He had composed Vagrants in the Valley in 1956, as a sequel to The Room on the Roof. Both of these novels were published in 1 volume by Penguin India in 1993. The next year a collection of his non-fiction writings, The Best Of Ruskin Bond was released by Penguin India. His fascination with supernatural fiction directed him to compose popular titles like Ghost Stories from the Raj, A Season of Ghosts, and A Face in the Dark and other Hauntings. Since then he’s composed more than five hundred short stories, essays and books, such as The Blue Umbrella, Funny Side Up, A Flight of Pigeons and over 50 books for kids. He has also published his autobiography: Scenes from a Writer’s Life explains his formative years growing up in Anglo-India plus a further autobiography, Lone Fox Dancing, was published in 2017. The Lamp is Lit is a collection of essays and episodes from his diary.

Since 1963 he has lived as a freelance author in Mussorie, a city in the Himalayan foothills at Uttarakhand where he resides with his adoptive family in Landour, Mussoorie’s Ivy Cottage, which has been his home since 1980. Asked what he enjoys the most about his life, he said,”That I have been able to write for so long. I started at age 17 or 18 and I’m still writing. If I weren’t a professional writer who was getting published I’d still write.” In his article, “Being an Indian”, he clarifies his Indian identity,”Hurry did not make me . Religion didn’t make me . But history did. And in the long term, it is history that counts.”

His sister Ellen lived in Ludhiana with his step sister until she died in 2014. He also has a brother, William, who resides in Canada.

The majority of his works are affected by life in the mountain stations in the foothills of the Himalayas, where he spent his youth. His first publication, The Room On the Roof, was composed when he was 17 and published when he was 21. It was partially based on his adventures at Dehradun, in his little rented room on the roof, along with his friends. His earlier works were composed without it being intended for any specific readership. His first children’s book, Angry River, published in the 1970s, had its composing toned down to a writer’s request for a children’s story. On writing for children, he said,”I had a fairly lonely youth and it helps me to know a child ” Bond’s work reflects his Anglo-Indian experiences and the changing political, social and cultural aspects of India, having been through colonial, postcolonial and post-independence stages of India

Being a writer for more than five decades, Bond experimented with various genres; ancient works include fiction, short stories, novella with a few being autobiographical. Afterward, he tried out non-fiction, love and novels for kids. He said his favorite genres are essays and short stories. He considers himself a”visual author” because for short stories, he imagines it like a movie and then notes it down. For an essay or travelogue, such preparation isn’t needed for him. He feels that the unexpected there makes it more exciting. Bond enjoys Just William by Richmal Crompton, Billy Bunter by Charles Hamilton and classics like Alice in Wonderland and operates by Charles Dickens and Mark Twain.

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