Away from the noises of city life in the hilly green areas of Mussoorie lives the beloved Rusty.He enjoys short naps, long walk beside the hills and his room full of books.
Most of our Readers would have read his stories as kids either in their textbooks or would have watched movies based on his books (Saat Khoon Maaf,Junoon, )This Beloved Children’s author who is nearly 80 years old will make you laugh and smile with his witty humour, spell bounding storytelling and his mischievous smile.
He prefers maintaining a low profile and confines himself to the greener pastures of Mussoorie .Not very fond of travelling he prefers only to get out of his comfort zone only to meet his readers and audience. A Bona fide lazy person as he calls himself his daily routine consists of eat sleep and read.
His New Fiction book Titles Maharani has recently released by Penguin India across stores.
When we put him in hot seat, here’s what he had to say..
You have stayed in Mussoorie for so many years. Whereas authors prefer to travel a lot to draw inspiration. Does the city of hills make you a better author?
I have been living here since 50 year now. Love the greenery around me. Have grown trees here and watch them grow. I enjoy spending time writing here by the hill side. My adopted family is here and they take good care of me here. One of the major reasons I moved to Mussoorie was in 60’s I had just left Delhi to be a free-lance writer and Mussoorie seemed the natural option to shift because of the proximity. Also I am in love with the city and don’t feel like going anywhere.
How much of your self do you portray in your books?
I am a very subjective writer. For me Fiction always overtakes reality. Of what I write 2/3 accounts for fiction and the rest all are experiences I draw from my own life. Most of my stories are written in the first person context so people tend to conclude the stories are based on my life. My writings draw inspirations from childhood memories and people who I have met over the years. I suffer from vivid imaginations which are purely fictitious.
Your new book Maharani talks about love and friendship. How does the Mr Ruskin Bond perceive love to be?
(Laughing) Well I have always been in love.. I was in love in 20’s in my 30’s in my 40’s. I have never stopped falling out of love. I have just stopped expecting the same intensity of love that I feel. My expectations and imagination of love is always high due to which I have had some disappointments in life. Probably one of the reasons I never got married. I think I am charming, cynical at times, not bad catch after all.
Tell us some peculiar characteristics about Maharani ?
Bold..Unconventional..Strong Minded..Entertaining..Smart..Has had Many affairs in the past.. She is somebody who will keep you glued to the book.
Your Favourite reads..
I have grown up reading books that were written in 40’s and the 50’s,.. I like to read a lot of Detective fiction and Crime Novels by Peter Robinson, Robert Gordon. My favourite book currently is ‘Wuthering Heights’ by Emily Bronte. I read it some 60 years back and it had kept me up all night and when I picked the book again to read it currently it again kept me up all night.. That to me is a test of a good novel. Plus the characters in the book are very strong and gripping. Also Emily Bronte writing is very passionate.
In the days when authors and publishers are catching on social media bandwagon and promoting themselves heavily you choose to stay aloof from all of it..your views..?
I think it’s the need of the hour since there are some writers and publishing houses spread all across. And competition is increasing. When I had starting writing I use to send the books out to the world hoping that somebody will read.. Scenarios have changed a lot today the backgrounds of my time were different and of today are different.. I grew up during the British Raj and today kids grow up with mobile, internet, tv and much more. The only thing constant is the writing values that a writer possesses. These days’ writers talk about their book on Facebook and all. But for me I prefer the old fashion way.. I keep away from the limelight. I always prefer to connect to my readers face to face.. I stay away from literary festivals as there are more so over for authors to meet together. Also I prefer stepping out and do a bookstore reading or session for my readers. You see we authors have big egos and we need to be pleased all the time through different mediums… even though I have a big ego, my way of life is very reserved to my readers and family and I prefer it that way. You can call me an old school person.
Maharani who drink too much, the real story of Jim Corbett, and friendly ghosts – a magical novella from Ruskin Bond!
H.H. is the spoilt, selfish, beautiful widow of the Maharajah of Mastipur. She lives with her dogs and her caretaker, Hans, in an enormous old house in Mussorie, taking lovers and discarding them, drinking too much, and fending off her reckless sons who are waiting hungrily for their inheritance. The seasons come and go, hotels burns down, cinemas shut shop, and people leave the hill station never to return. But H.H. remains constant and indomitable. Observing her antics, often with disapproval, is her old friend Ruskin, who can never quite cut himself off from her. Melancholic, wry and full of charm, Maharani is a delightful novella about love, death and friendship.
About The Author
Ruskin Bond is the acclaimed author of over five hundred novellas, stories, essays and poetry, all of which has established him as one of the India’s most beloved writers. His most recent work are Secrets and Susannas Seven Husbands which was turned into the film Saat Khoon Maaf. He was awarded the Sahitya Akademi Award in 1993 and the Padma Shri in 1999.
Price: Rs 299
Signing off for Now..
Until Next time Geeks.