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Saturday, Oct 19, 2019

Ruskin Bond is working on a new story, and it is about his boyhood in Delhi

The author talks about his years in Delhi, the secret behind never getting a writer’s block, and his new collection of stories set in Mussoorie of the 1960s.

books Updated: Apr 28, 2017 18:22 IST
Naina Arora
Naina Arora
Hindustan Times
Author Ruskin Bond visited Gurgaon recently as part of a film and literature festival.
Author Ruskin Bond visited Gurgaon recently as part of a film and literature festival.

“Delhi was different back then,” says Ruskin Bond, talking about a new story he is working on. “I spent a year here when I was 10. I didn’t go to school, it was fun and I learned a lot. My father and I went around exploring Delhi’s monuments. We lived near Connaught Place. The story is called Long Ago in New Delhi. I’m trying to bring to life not just my boyhood but Delhi too.”

As for his latest book, Death Under The Deodars: The Adventures of Miss Ripley-Bean, he tells us that he didn’t want to write a straightforward murder mystery. ”I had fun writing those. I thought I’d do something a little different. I had them told by this old lady, who lived many years in the hill station and knew a lot of stories.”

Bond, who’s been writing for 65 years, says he’s never had a writer’s block. “The 20s were my romantic period, during those years, I wrote romantic stories. I moved to the hills in my 30s and wrote stories about nature, life in the mountains, and children’s stories. I like alternating between fiction, poetry, non-fiction and essays, and keeping a journal. I don’t get writers block that way,”says Bond, whose book, The Book of Fun will be out in bookstores soon.

“If I’m really stuck for a story, I cook up a ghost story,” he laughs, adding, “Dreams give you ideas too.If you are interested in people, you won’t run out of ideas. People have interesting stories with all the conflicts and dramas. I occasionally write about animals.”

Speaking of interesting stories, lately Bollywood has been experimenting with adapting real-life stories into films — such as MS Dhoni, Azhar and Mary Kom — with great success. But does Bond think books will start getting adapted into films on the same scale in India? “Getting a distributor for children's films is difficult. Children's films by nature are not too long. In west, they don’t call it a children's film, they give it a universal certificate. Although children’s books have been turned into wonderful films in the West, it’s hard to do the same in India,” says Bond. “Some brave people have tried it. Vishal Bhardwaj took one of my stories, The Blue Umbrella, but to make it work, he almost made it an adult film, in a way. Children’s films don’t get big stars.”

First Published: Dec 06, 2016 20:53 IST

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