Hyderabad: Ruskin Bond, the unassuming 85-year-old author of dozens of books that have delighted children and adults alike for decades, was in Hyderabad to attend an event with school children and teachers on Thursday.
The Padma Shri, Padma Bhushan, Sahitya Akademi Award, and John Llewellyn Rhys Prize winner (among many more), listened to his youngest fan at the event, six-year-old Mok-sha, recite a few lines of his poem Lone Fox Dancing.
Ruskin Bond has written ghost stories but they are not horrifying. Teachers were asked to narrate any experiences they have had with ghosts. Bond confessed that he never had confronted any ghost in his life.
Someone in the audience told him, “You don’t look like you are 85 years old; what is the secret of your fitness?”
“I don’t see myself in a mirror,” he smiled, and said his wrinkles will tell you his age but each wrinkle will tell you a story or a poem.
His story Suzanna’s Seven Husbands was made into a Hindi film Saat Khoon Maaf, with Priyanka Chopra in the lead. He also revealed that in the early days of his career he used to write for Deccan Chronicle.
Q: What made you write more for children, and what fascinates you most about writing?
I have been writing since childhood. I always keep young readers in mind, and what fascinates me is Nature. If you see many of my writings, it’s mostly about Nature.
Q:Do you see a threat from digital books?
It’s never a threat; it is another platform for readers. I have been writing for so many years that people used to know me by name but they never knew my physical appearance. After the digital media boom, people started recognising me.
Q:Apart from writing what do you like doing the most?
Spending time with Nature, and when you are living alone you can have the best time with Nature. Owls, bats, they can be so interesting (smiles).
Q:What do you like writing the most?
I love writing fiction, sometimes real stories, poems... basically I just love writing.
Q:What sort of childhood did you have?
I used to have a big gramophone at home. I used to listen to music rather than writing.