A Reader’s Dream

Suparna Sunil
Wednesday, December 19, 2018

“Normally writers do not talk much, because they are saving their conversations for the readers of their book-
those invisible listeners with whom we wish to strike a sympathetic chord.”
? Ruskin Bond

Ruskin Bond is a very well-established author living blissfully in his 90’s in the foothills of the path to heaven-The Himalayas. He subsists in the small hamlet of Landour in the town of Mussourie in the Indian state labelled as “the land of gods on earth”- Uttarakhand.

The state with its rich heritage and culture and picturesque valleys, river bans and hill stations are one of the best places to be writing stories and poems for the reason that it has stunning exquisiteness in the state’s flora and fauna.

His works are recognised by folks of all ages. He has written many books; from fiction to memoirs, but habitually about nature.

It was the month of December, and I was relaxing; reading some books, watching TV, going over to friend’s houses and most of all, having fun!

I am a big fanatic of Bond’s books and also an avid collector. The yearning of meeting my most cherished and established author struck me when I read his autobiography-Stumbling through life. It had his real-life-experiences in a nutshell.

One night I asked my parents on how they felt on the Idea of meeting him. My mom was also an avid reader of his books. She even used to carry a few books on her way to work!

Therefore, of course it was a cake walk to make my parents agree on taking a trip to visit him, and we could also go on a short trip around the north. ?? Oh! Yes! My parents had agreed to take me to pay him a visit, but the big question was HOW?? I started researching day and night on this big question that floated around in my mind.

AH! Finally! I got my answer.

I had read about the Cambridge Book Depot in a blog. Ruskin Bond came there every Saturday from 2pm to 5pm. We contacted them through a chat on Facebook.

Now, after all these days I had my exams coming up in March! I studied hard and did well in my exams. Time flew by, and it was now time for me to fly to Delhi! It was a hassle to take may changes in terminals at the airport, but we managed to get through. We had to go from Kuwait to Dubai, change a terminal, and then fly to Delhi. It was sure very tiring! We left on the fifteenth of March and reached Delhi on the sixteenth.

We had a friend pick us up in Delhi and we went straight to Dehradun by car. On the way we saw many beautiful sights and places, it was really a sight for sore eyes!

There was a big day along for us as we were living in Dehradun at a hotel, and had to hike to Mussourie. It was a short hike of around five kilometers to the town.

I had a big prospect to meet my most loved author. We finally reached the tiny book depot yet, we had to stand in the long queue since 1 pm, gratefully we were one of the first people in the line. I was surprised at the crowd waiting to meet him. At the depot I had to buy some books to get his autograph, so I had bought no less than ten books!!!
It was finally time to meet him.
My first glance at him had my yearning to meet him content. Ruskin Bond was a man in his 90’s yet pleased and spirited.

I pondered up to him and asked, “How are you so enthusiastic despite being long-standing?”
He said, “I had in fact gone to England after my education but did not like it there. So, I came back to my child hood dwelling. I like it here.”

I got my books endorsed with his signature.
From Mussourie we went to His house in Landour a small town in the Greater Himalayas which was a 4km walk from Mussourie. On the way there was a tiny little bakery which was established in the colonial rule and stays at its roots up to date.

We stopped there for high tea, and we were delighted on the hospitality of the owners and their stunning cakes.

There was a stunning view of the snow tipped peaks of the Himalayas. It was colder than the city of Mussourie here.

We walked on until we saw a white coloured cottage, it was simple yet elegant. It was Ruskin Bond’s home, which was named Ivy Cottage.

That day was one of the best ones in my life.

Writing on this topic I remembered his quote;

“and when all the wars are over, a butterfly will still be beautiful.”

Suparna Sunil
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Express your comment on this article

Suparna Sunil??
Saturday, December 29, 2018
@S John, Thank You very much sir for your kind and encouraging words. - Suparna??????

S John
Wednesday, December 26, 2018
Excellent write-up Suparna! I could feel the excitement in your writing. Look forward to reading more from you in the future. All the very best.

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