Ruskin Bond on childhood, beaches, pandemic and more

Ruskin Bond   | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

There is a photo on Ruskin Bond’s Instagram page. Wearing a parrot-green tee, the bespectacled octogenarian poses as if he is about to stab his birthday cake. Though he turned 87 on May 19, there is an impish charm about him. The writer is more cheerful now than he was in his 20s and 30s. Many stories written in his younger days have a melancholic strain. Now, he says he finds life funny.

Bond is a favourite especially among children. He has written stories aplenty on childhood. When he turned 87, he released yet another volume of children’s short stories, All-Time Favourites for Children (Penguin), which includes 25 illustrated stories.

The author briefly answered some of the questions we sent him via email.


A majority of your work has been set in the hills. Some of it has been set in other places like Delhi. Have you ever felt like travelling to an unfamiliar place, perhaps somewhere in a village in the South, and writing about the people there?

Hopefully in my next life. But you can read my autobiography, Lone Fox Dancing, for early travels.

The hills, of course, are your favourite landscape, because of the serenity it offers. What are your other favourites?

I have written about the beach at Jamnagar, where I spent my childhood and I spent two years in the Channel Islands. Lots of bays and beaches there, but that was an unhappy period of my life.

Childhood is another recurring theme of your works. The experience of childhood has changed too in this era of technology and gadgets. What do you make of it?

True, but some things don’t change like friendships, school days, festivals, games, food and ice-creams.

Had you been a millennial, what would you have written about?

Most of my writing stems from my personal life – so it would reflect the prevailing circumstances.

The last few months have been difficult for a lot of people due to the pandemic. What can one do to deal with this situation?

If at home, write more, read more — but don’t eat more. Also stay in touch with friends, loved ones. Don’t stop working.

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Printable version | Jul 25, 2021 12:15:14 PM |

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