Too young to be old, Ruskin Bond who is indeed an inspiration to a lot of aspiring writers, has several short stories, novellas and even some poetry to his credit.
A man of pen and words, ‘Uncle Bond’ wishes to continue doing what he does best; writing. “Yes, I enjoy being an author and writing stories, probably because that is what I have been doing the best, besides playing football. Except that at 81, I can still write but not play football..”
Sharing about his childhood experiences, he spoke about how as a child of 10 he ended up jotting observations from surrounding nature in his books when he was left alone at home. He believes that the habit of writing journal, not only worked for him as a ‘kind of therapy’ but acted as a storehouse of stories for him. “What you write today may not be useful to you now, but in the future you can always look back and create stories from them,” he said.
Divulging his love for ‘writing between naps’, he went a step ahead and claimed to be the ‘most lazy writer’ with a wide adorable smile on his face.
‘The room on the roof’ author advised aspiring writers to be ‘prolific readers’ and laid emphasis on how important it is to make the correct usage of language. Asking young writers to enjoy their writing and develop a writing style of their own, he said, “Respect the language you write in. Don’t be careless with grammar. Develop your own tone of voice that without looking at the book cover or reading the name of the author, a reader knows whose writing it is."
Talking from experience, he advised the people who love writing to never get discouraged and to never despair and ‘to look at life in a way they’re seeing it for the last time’. Only then, he feels, they would want to catch the fleeting moment and jot them down. He truly believes that a writer’s job is to create magic with a never ending list of words.
Being from a pre-laptop era, Ruskin cited an incident where he ran out of study material and finally got his hands on an Oxford dictionary when he ended up reading ‘page after page’ and learnt a whole lot of new words.
Bond, who has been living a solitary life at a cottage in Mussoorie believes that a ‘window’ is a must for every writer. ‘The Blue Umbrella’ author left the audience in splits when he quipped, “Writers should always have something to look out for, even if it’s just another wall.”
Ruskin Bond, who is a recipient of many eminent awards including Padma Shri and Padman Bhushan revealed the prominent role of dreams in his story writing. “Most of my early stories are based on dreams that I used to record in my notebook. All the romantic stories were dreams in fact.” He also mentioned how he ‘doesn’t believe in ghosts but still see them.’
Talking about how nature became an essential part of his writing, he quoted few lines that he had written years back, “Walking home alone one night, I saw an old fox dancing in the bright moon light. Some times when words ring through, I’m like an old fox dancing in the morning dew.” He further added, “I wanted to catch the passing moment. The bird on the wing, the dew on a rose or the joy of a child’s laughter, all these little things became a part of my writing.”