It was utter delight to read an article on one of India’s most prolific writers, Mr. Ruskin Bond, as a feature in a popular daily newspaper. He is an author of not only my heart’s choice, but a prodigy whose creation most of the readers in India treasure. Then again, Mr. Bond’s incalculable fame outside India too became apparent from the pictures of the profuse gathering posted along with the article in that issue, all waiting to see the writer and also to get his autograph.
In spite of being of British origin, Mr. Bond’s love for India, transported him back to the soil of India even though most of his compatriots departed to their homeland in the post-colonial era. He calls himself ‘as Indian as the dust of the grass of the mountain meadows.’ He confides, “I’ve always felt that India is my home.” There is no doubt about it. To enjoy Bond one must have the taste of the Himalayan Mountain in their blood.
Tracking Bond’s pen the readers waft amongst the mountainous vales of foggy hills surrounded by tall meditative pines, narrow winding etched paths on the mountain slopes canopied by the deodar trees with the fragrance of wild flowers all around. Sometimes the readers are led to the wide stretches of monotonous deserted pastures where dusk sets in and one by one the tiny lights sparkle in the Doon valley as shine the stars from above. The readers are made to feel the nippiness of the unexpected spells of the mountain showers along with the squally winds. His pen echoes nature’s tranquil beauty surrounding him so that is why time and again he is addressed as ‘Wordsworth of India’.
The stories that bond’s pen spins are mostly semi-autobiographical, apolitical issues that have taken roots from the simple, humble, rural lives of the people of his hometown , so far away from our busy, urban lives. The characters in the stories are the commoners from a Himalayan town in Mussoorie called Landour, where the writer lives and the intricacy with which Mr. Bond puts into words the happiness, love, misery, problem, - the very being of the people of Mussoorie and his personal experiences. His candid and affluent writing skill enables the readers to easily identify and sympathize with those characters and circumstances. Musing over his past Ruskin Bond articulates through his pen just as he senses, - with ease and spontaneity and that way he has attained a rare relationship with his admirers.
Mr. Ruskin Bond always tries to promote ‘reading as a habit.’ He is so correct to have pointed out that ‘Book readers are special people, and they will always turn to books as the ultimate pleasure. Those who do not read are the unfortunate ones... they are missing out on one of life’s compensations and rewards. A great book is a friend that never lets you down.’ Books can indeed give us a lot of comfort and companionship. They instruct us the principles of life and help us to discover the complications of human relations. Books are undeniably the ideal friends. They are a means for learning that can inspire our mind and perk up our ability to comprehend the world around us better. Reading contributes to the enrichment of knowledge. An ardent reader do not show excuses of time constraints but rather squeezes out time from his daily routine and read books for some contentment. Today, reading of book has become widely associated with getting ahead in life and thank you Mr. Bond for reminding it all over again.