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 urriculum 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.