It was standing room only at the Crossword book store in Fraser Town on Saturday evening. Young and old alike stood in long queues to get a glimpse of their favourite writer, Ruskin Bond. The renowned author was in the city to launch The Adventures of Rusty: Collected Stories.

The author patiently signed copies and posed for photos with his young fans. When one of them asked if Rusty was going to come to Bangalore, he said, “Oh…Rusty is old. I don't know if he will.”

Asked what he would have become if not an author, he ventured, “Footballer.” “However, I could not have played football at my age. I think I made the right choice as I continue to write even now!”

Would he have written books if he were born in the “current scenario”? “There is so much inspiration around. I would have definitely written books.”

He remarked that he has never had such a crowd coming to meet him. “I skipped the Jaipur Literature Festival. I am humbled that so many people are here to meet me.”

The 78-year-old author read a chapter from his book, which brings together his best, funniest, most exciting escapades of Rusty, who lives with his grandparents in Dehra (Dehra Dun) surrounded by an assortment of odd animals, people and relatives.

Earlier, two children read out poems written by the author.

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