Ruskin Bond is an Indian author of British descent. He was named Owen Ruskin Bond, his father chose the name Ruskin for him. Bond lives in Landour, Mussoorie. He is one of the most loved and celebrated authors for fairly versatile genres, however, short stories and essays remain his favourites to write. He’s a shy, reclusive literary genius.
Ruskin Bond is an Indian author born to British parents. He was born in a military hospital in Kasauli. He was fondly called Rusty. His father, Aubrey Alexander Bond was an officer of the Royal Air Force (RAF) post in India. Edith Clarke, his mother was a homemaker. Ruskin Bond went to a boarding school in Mussorie before he was sent to another boarding school in Shimla hills; Bishop Cotton School. He graduated from this very school. He has experimented with different genres like romance, fiction, poetry. He has often stated that his writings are a reflection of his life. The highly revered, widely loved author has a rather simple style of writing, about his way of writing the author says it’s simple yet conversational and encourages young writers to try the same.
Height (approx.): 5′ 3″
Weight (approx.): 90 kg
Hair Colour: White
Eye Colour: Blue
Ruskin Bond belonged to a British family living in India. His parents separated while he was young. He had an Indian Hindu Punjabi stepfather.
Parents & Siblings
His father, Aubrey Alexander Bond was an officer of the Royal Air Force (RAF) post in India. Edith Clarke, his mother was a homemaker. His father even taught English to the princesses of Jamnagar Palace. Whilst his father taught them, his sister n he stayed there till the age of six. His parents parted ways when he was barely four years old. He was mainly raised by his maternal grandmother. He lost his father early and was thoroughly heartbroken as he was close to his father. Often he describes the time he spent with his father as the best time of his life. His mother married a Punjabi Hindu named Hari. He was later raised by his mother and stepfather. He lost both his parents early, whilst they were in their fifties.
Wife & Children
Ruskin Bond hasn’t ever gotten married and has no children biologically, though he does have an adopted family. Ruskin Bond when asked why he didn’t marry, recalls not being a ladies’ man. He shares an incident where felt his neighbour was taking interest in him only to find out that she wanted a little help with grammar and composition. Also the author shares he was a hopeless romantic and wanted to marry if the love story had certain obstacles, from the girl’s end that he would’ve triumphed over for his happily ever after, as from his end no obstacle would’ve come up because there was no one anyone to stop him.
Ruskin Bond was born in Kasauli in a military hospital. He graduated from Bishop Cotton School, Shimla. He witnessed turmoil in his early life, when his parents parted ways, he was forced to be raised by his maternal grandmother. He was extremely close to his father who arranged for him to come and live with the former in Delhi. Reminiscing that time he says, it was the best time of his life. He was completely distraught after receiving the news of losing his father during the war in Calcutta. His childhood was marred by his parents’ separation, writing gave him peace and an escape. He has often described his works as a reflection of his life. He had a rather difficult childhood and often claims it was lonely and disturbed. He wrote his first story at the age of 16; Untouchable. By the age of 21 his first novel was published, The Room on the roof.
The author is loved across all generations and is highly revered as well. The author is known for his works like popular children’s books that tend to have left a mark on every kid whilst growing up. He has worked on numerous books, he enjoys his work as much as his readers. In his initial years, Bond had to struggle until the publishing houses from abroad set a footing in India. The Illustrated Weekly of India and The Statesman were his primary sources of income from the 1950s until the 1980s making him about 35 to 50 rupees per write up. Things took a happier turn when publishing houses began to find a way into India, Penguin India came in 1985 changing the publishing landscape forever. It started publishing in 1987 with merely six books. followed by Harpercollins in 1992. Even though Rupa was founded way earlier in 1936, it gained momentum after their arrival. Likewise did many other home-grown publishers. His first novel ‘The Room on the Roof’ was illustrated by the legendary cartoonist Mario Marinda. It came out in 1956 and ever since he has had numerous works to his credit. The author is happy with whatever he has made and is fairly content. He lives a simple and peaceful life like he always wanted but he also noted,
“Of course, I want the royalty checks, but my desires are very simple. I did not have a very happy childhood so I want to ensure that my grandchildren have a secured life, so should Rakesh and Bina [his adopted family]”
Ruskin Bond has worked on about 500 books. His works have also been adapted into Bollywood movies; the movie Junoon is based on his famous novel, A Flight of Pigeons (about an episode of rebellion during 1857) produced and directed by Shashi Kapoor and Shyam Benegal respectively. Another novel by Bond, The Blue Umbrella, written in 1980 was adapted into a movie, in 2005 directed by the ace director Vishal Bhardwaj. The Indian movie 7 Khoon Maaf, a black comedy, is adapted from his novel Susanna’s Seven Husbands, the movie had underperformed, though it did make a profit against the budget, as claimed by its producers. The stories written by Ruskin Bond were made into a TV show ‘ Ek Tha Rusty’. After a gap of 15 years, the show was made again named Ek Tha Rusty 2. His great-granddaughter Srishti Bond, from his adopted family had played the role of Kamla (author’s onetime love interest) in the series Ek Tha Rusty 2 . Srishti says the series paid tribute to her great grandfather’s 6 decades-long literary career. He has written two volumes of autobiographies as well; Scenes from a Writer’s Life and The Lamp is Lit. Bond remains to be a reclusive literary genius, who is quite shy. The author won the 2017 Atta Galatta- Literature Festival Book Prize in the non-fiction category for his autobiography.
The author landed himself in the soup when he wrote a mildly erotic story for the magazine Debonair. He was charged for obscenity. He recalls that time as not being fun at all, as the case lasted for about 2 years. He says the cause for a warrant issued against him wasn’t the content but that the author was editing the imprint magazine during the Emergency when strict restrictions were imposed on media. The charges were eventually dropped he jokingly shares the judge shared that he liked Bond’s work
Awards, Honours, Achievements
John Llewellyn Rhys Prize 1957
Sahitya Akademi Award 1992
Padma Shri 1999
Padma Bhushan 2014
- Books: Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll, Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte
- Author: William Wordsworth, Henry David Thoreau, Anton Chekov, Ernest Bates, Emily Bronte, Graham Greene
- He wanted to be a tap dancer when he was young.
- He has shared that he is lazy and often gets grumpy when it rains.
- Bond’s life mantra is,
Life is fleeting. So one should seize the moment and get as much true enjoyment out of living, out of friendships, loving relationships, out of things that give you pleasure, whether it is books or films or any form of mentally stimulating satisfaction