If you are one of those hundreds of thousands of book lovers who have grown up (or old) savoring the fascinating literary world woven by Ruskin Bond, this bit of news will give you a reason to cheer! The acclaimed Mussoorie-based author is all set to delight the bibliophiles with yet another fresh chronicles of his famous character Rusty, the affable Anglo-Indian-boy living in Dehradun/Mussoorie hills. The new book 'Rusty and the Magic Mountain', set to roll out next month, will, however, be 'different' from most of his past books on Rusty, says the master storyteller. Here, the 81-year-old Padma Bhushan awardee, who is known for regaling generations of readers, talks to Hindustan Times about his upcoming book, film offers and his desire to act:
Q. What's the new book 'Rusty and the Magic Mountain' about?
A. It's an adventure story set partly in Dehradun and partly up in the hills. It shows Rusty as a young boy who hears about a mountain that has a curious legend attached to it and heads towards it with his friends to unravel (the mystery). It's being brought out by the Penguin Books and should be out by early October.
Q. What would be different about this new Rusty outing?
A. Unlike the previous books in the Rusty series that were somewhat autobiographical in nature, this one is a pure fantasy with no personal stuff from my life in there. Barring the mention of the famous Chaatwali Gali in Dehradun where I love to gorge on gol gappe whenever I'm in town (smiles).
Q. Your works including A Flight of Pigeons, The Blue Umbrella and Susanna's Seven Husbands have been turned into films. Any new work next up for celluloid?
A. Well, talks are on with someone who wants to turn the Adventures of Rusty into a film. I also keep getting enquiries (from filmmakers) from time to time. Meanwhile, (director) Vishal Bhardwaj's son has made a film on one of my short stories, The Thief. It's not a commercial film though and is meant for film festivals.
Q. You appeared in a cameo with actor Priyanka Chopra in Saat Khoon Maaf. When will we see you on the big screen again?
A. One of these days, I should make it (being roped in as an actor) a condition for anyone who wants to take up my work (for films). I'd make it a part of the deal that I get to have a scene if there's any beautiful heroine in the movie. I still keep falling in love every now and then (chuckles).