Ruskin Bond is an Indian author of British descent. At 85 years of age, he lives with his adopted family in Mussoorie, Uttarakhand in India. He has won many awards and written many interesting stories to a wide variety of audience in age and number.
Ruskin was born to Edith Clarke and Aubrey Bond in Kasauli. Ruskin’s father used to teach the princesses of Jamnagar and later joined the Royal Air Force. After that, Ruskin along with his mother and his sister Ellen went to stay at their maternal home in Dehradun. From there, he was sent to a boarding school in Mussoorie. After some time, his mother separated from his father and married another guy after which Ruskin came to stay with his father. He was then posted in Delhi by his father. Shortly after that, after his father’s demise, he was sent to his mother and stepfather who brought him up in Dehradun.
He did his schooling from Bishop Cotton School in Shimla where he won several writing competitions along with prestigious Irwin Divinity Prize and the Hailey Literature Prize. At the tender age of sixteen, he wrote his first short stories, “Untouchables”. Many of Ruskin’s work was inspired by the life of him and the people around. After completing his schooling, he went to stay with his aunt in London for better prospects. There he started writing his first novel “The Room on the Roof”. It was well received and won the John Llewellyn Rhys Prize in 1957. After publishing it through a publisher, he returned to Dehradun again and used the money that was given in advance to build a sea passage to Bombay.
He worked in Delhi as a freelancer and slowly started publishing his stories. He then decided to move to Mussoorie as it was close to editors in Delhi. There he wrote many short stories and novels. In 1980, Penguin India was in India after which they published his first novel “The Room on the Roof” along with its sequel novel “Vagrants in the Valley”.
Since then he has published multiple books of different genres and for different age groups. His interest in supernatural fiction can be seen through his works like Ghost Stories from the Raj, A Season of Ghosts, and A Face in the Dark and other Hauntings. He has written more than 500 short stories and around 50 books for children. He has also issued his autobiography: Scenes from a Writer’s Life describes his formative years growing up in Anglo-India and a further autobiography was published in 2017 named Lone Fox Dancing. The Lamp is Lit is an assortment of essays and episodes from his journal.
His work has been accepted and transformed into television shows and movies. Stories of Rusty led to the formation of TV show Ek Tha Rusty. In the movie genre, Bollywood film ‘Junoon’ was an adaptation of the novel ‘The Flight of the Pigeons’ and his short story Susanna’s Seven Husbands was adapted in making of the famous movie ‘7 Khoon Maaf’ wherein he also made a cameo as a bishop. He has received a number of awards for his wide variety of work and is till date praised for it.