Hyderabad: Eminent Indian contemporary writer Ruskin Bond, who has prolifically authored several inspirational children’s books, wants to spend more time in Hyderabad.
The 85-year-old writer, born in Kasauli in Himachal Pradesh, said: “I heard a lot about Hyderabad in the past and one word that keeps coming up repeatedly is Biryani… Biryani… Biryani… I read the colourful history of the city and Hyderabad has a distinctive climate which is different from other places.”
What does Hyderabad mean for him? “If I had to live my life over again, I would come and spend more time in Hyderabad,” says Bond.
On Thursday, nearly 200 teachers and students from various schools of Telangana and Andhra Pradesh had a rare opportunity to meet their favourite writer and poet whose writings has been part of school life across the country for several years.
In conversation with Ratna Sagar publisher Atiya Zaidi, Bond, who wrote several stories on ghosts, revealed that he did not believe in ghosts.
“I never met ghosts. Most of my stories are about people but when I run out of them, I write about aunts and uncles. If again I run out of them, I write about pets and animals. And then I cook up stories about ghosts if I run out of everything,” he says.
Bond’s stories on ghosts in fact made some teachers reveal their personal experiences and anecdotes on ghosts which they heard from their students.
For the celebrated author, science has been a subject which he could never tackle comfortably. “I never passed in science,” he quipped. “Writing is something which I am good at. If not a writer, my ambition was to become a football player,” he revealed.
Recalling his memories with his father, Bond said his father inspired him for writing various novels and short stories. “He made me learn history and geography as he used to take me for heritage walks in Delhi. Some books and nature also inspired me to take up writing,” he said.
Stating that writing was not taken seriously in the 1950s, Bond pointed out that many were taking to writing these days. He offered a word of caution to budding writers and said that before venturing into writing, one must become an avid reader.
A bachelor, Bond in a jocular mood said: “My bachelorhood is purely accidental”.
Going down the memory lane, he also recalled how he had written a letter to a girl who happened to be the daughter of the Maharani in his school days.
“My writings in the letter were appreciated by her mother who called me for a meeting. However, my teacher did not allow me. Since then people come to me for writing letters,” adds the writer, who has won accolades and honours including Padma Bhushan, Padma Shri and the Sahitya Akademi Award as well.