Children

On a literary voyage

The year is 1951 and a 16-year-old boy in Dehradun is ready to set sail to England. Little does he know that this year will become the basis for his first novel, one that will catapult him to great heights, in the literary world, for over seven decades.

The novel was The Room on the Roof, and the teenager, Ruskin Bond.

This year, he is back with yet another one of his magnificent books, A Song of India, which tells the story of the beginning of Ruskin Bond’s writing journey. The book marks the 70th year of his writings. Beautifully illustrated, it takes the reader on an evocative, poignant journey, full of spirit and hope.

Bond says, “A Song of India marks 70 years of my long writing career, which began when I was 16. In these seven decades, I have written hundreds of stories for children and just as many for adults too, and I am still continuing to do so. I am very fortunate to have lived in a beautiful part of the country, in the mountains. I am blessed to have received inspiration from the natural world around me, from children and animals, and all of this is reflected in my works.”

What it is about

Sixteen-year-old Ruskin, after having finally finished his school, is living with his stepfather and mother at the Old Station Canteen in Dehradun. Struggling to begin his writing journey, he tries to make a passage to England to chase his true calling. But as he prepares for his long voyage, the prospect of saying goodbye to the warm, sunny shores of India looms large.

Brought straight from his past, Ruskin Bond recalls the longing for familiarity, the joys of receiving his first money order, publishing his stories and finding new friends. Following the trail of Looking for the Rainbow, Till the Clouds Roll By and Coming Round the Mountain, A Song of India is another year from the life of a fiery teenager as he embarks on a journey to an unfamiliar land.

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Printable version | Sep 20, 2020 1:57:03 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/children/on-a-literary-voyage/article32244553.ece

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