In this beautiful, heartfelt and often humorous mini-autobiography, beloved storyteller Ruskin Bond relives the days of his childhood and teenage. He writes of carefree days in the port city of Jamnagar where little boy Ruskin read books upside down, wandered into rambling empty palaces, went for rides on lurching boats and in swooping, looping aeroplanes, and listened to tall tales told by a loving ayah and a colourful cook. He also describes his schooldays in Shimla—being dressed up as Humpty Dumpty for his very first stage performance, making friends, planning pranks and discovering a secret tunnel. He remembers his days in Delhi, where he lived with his father for one magical year when they explored monuments and cinema halls and became each other’s closest companions. And he recalls his time in Dehra when he developed his love for reading and writing, cycled far and wide and loafed in the bazaar with new-found friends, and finally set out on the path of becoming a writer.
Funny and imaginative, nostalgic and tender, this timeless book—embellished with lovely colour illustrations—is a record of a very special childhood.
‘If you live in the Indian hills, it is only a matter of time before you meet a ghost…’
Vintage storyteller Ruskin Bond has created many unforgettable characters in his novels and stories, but perhaps the most memorable and unusual among them are the ghosts and spirits that haunt the hills and foothills of the Himalayas—the bazaars and bungalows, jungles and gardens of Mussoorie, Shimla, Nainital, Dehradun. These ghosts are not always horrific; they are mysterious and often benevolent, or lonely creatures looking for company among humans. Collected in these pages are new stories written specifically for this volume—including Captain Young’s Ghost and The Black Bird—and classics such as A Face in the Dark and The Haunted Bicycle. Here you will find the spirit of a captain from the British army who, on some nights, returns to the town he founded and never outgrew; a little boy, long dead, who continues to guide passers-by on treacherous mountain routes; a beautiful young girl from long ago who seduces young men with her song, and another who longs for the warmth of a happy family.
Set in the hills and foothills of North India—the perfect haunt for ghosts and spirits—this collection by the master storyteller will leave you spellbound.
With over forty essays, this comprehensive volume brings together a dazzling range of voices in an unparalleled panorama.
Here you will find stories of great ascents and descents; the madness of war on the ‘world’s highest battlefield’ and the personal costs soldiers must pay for it; tales of exploratory derring-do; and a mutiny up on a mountain. A seeker has an intense spiritual experience on Mount Kailas, another among shamans on a mountaintop in Nepal; and, looking for the snow leopard in Ladakh, an author finds himself. A resident of a Sherpa village writes a heartfelt account of the aftermath of an avalanche which killed porters and climbers on Everest; and residents of Langtang record an oral history of the earthquake which wiped out their village. A matriarch describes her life and family in Almora of a bygone time; a prisoner in Dehra Dun jail draws solace from visits by birds and small animals; and the fragrance of lime makes a traveller’s night in a remote Garhwal village memorable for all time.
Edited by Ruskin Bond, India’s most-loved writer, and acclaimed novelist Namita Gokhale, this anthology—now in paperback with two new essays—spans the entire range, from the foothills to the highest peaks, and from its easternmost to its westernmost ends. Himalaya will keep you riveted.
What can a flower teach us about courage? Or a little red ant?
When is speaking up brave, and when holding one’s peace?
Why must we look on with suspicion at all that comes easy?
What is the ultimate measure of man?
Ruskin Bond, India’s favourite writer, draws from his own experiences, and those of some of the world’s greatest thinkers and doers, to offer words of inspiration and wisdom. A Little Book of Courage is the perfect guide—to dip into and to gift—for the good times, and the tough.
Where does beauty live? Where should we travel to find it?
Is a dawn without birdsong still beautiful?
What might we see through the branches of a cherry tree at night?
Can we crave the rose if we fear its thorns?
What does the heart have to do with beauty?
Few writers anywhere have celebrated the beauty of the world, of all creatures great and small, as magically as Ruskin Bond has done. This little anthology brings together his own ideas and images of beauty and those of writers and thinkers he has read and liked. This pocketbook is a thing of quiet beauty.
A lifetime of reading and writing, observation and contemplation is distilled in this comprehensive volume of the best essays, profiles and sketches by Ruskin Bond, the masterly and compassionate chronicler of the small details and luminous moments that capture the essence of a meaningful life. By turns thoughtful, humorous, keenly observed and wise, these essays span more than sixty years of his writing—from reflections on companionship and solitude, to lyrical yet finely honed appreciations of nature, to nostalgic evocations of bygone people and ways of life. As an essayist, he brings to his travel narratives about the major pilgrimage centres of the Himalaya, or the story about searching for the gravestone of a long-forgotten author, the same empathy and sense of wonder that mark his accounts of glimpsing an elusive leopard, or watching the mist rise in a forest of pines.
A Time for All Things contains the finest non-fiction of a singular writer who has inspired and comforted three generations of readers with his sustained, steady and affectionate engagement with life in a world that grows ever more hectic.
Is your school a hotspot for jokes? Do your family members regularly fall victim to pranks? Do ghosts and spooks get you into trouble? Find every kind of funny, crazy, impossible mischief in this book. Here you will find the girl who turned into a sloth just for her mother, the horse who went to the library and ate up some classics, the substitute teacher who saw dead people, the play where everything that could go wrong did go wrong, and many more amazing tales of pranks and troublemaking!
Selected by Ruskin Bond and Jerry Pinto, these stories have been written by some of the best children’s writers of the country, including Sukumar Ray, R.K. Narayan, Ranjit Lal, Subhadra Sen Gupta, Paro Anand, Bulbul Sharma and many more. As an added bonus, watch out for brand new stories by Ruskin Bond and Jerry Pinto, too. Prankenstein is a delicious treasure trove of trouble and will have every mischief-maker plotting that perfect prank!
‘There is nothing to keep me here,
Only these mountains of silence
And the gentle reserve of shepherds and woodmen
Who know me as one who
Walks among trees.’
One of India’s finest and most popular writers, Ruskin Bond is loved as much for the lyricism of his verses as for his classic stories. Tender and unsparing, understated but powerful, his poems reveal a deep connection with nature and appreciation for a surprising range of human emotions. This definitive collection of his poems, written over a lifetime, brings together themes as diverse as love, nostalgia, humour, family and friends, solitude and, of course, the joys to be found in spending time with nature. A timeless classic to enjoy or share, I Was the Wind Last Night: New and Collected Poems is a treasured addition to every poetry lover’s bookshelf.
Over sixty years, for numerous readers—of all ages; in big cities, small towns and little hamlets—Ruskin Bond has been the best kind of companion. He has entertained, charmed and occasionally spooked us with his books and stories, and opened our eyes to the beauty of the natural world and everyday life. He has made us smile when our spirits are low, and steadied us when we’ve stumbled.
Now, in this brilliantly readable autobiography—his book of books—one of India’s greatest writers shows us the roots of everything he has written. He begins with a dream and a haunting, before taking us to an idyllic childhood in Jamnagar by the Arabian Sea—where he composed his first poem—and New Delhi in the early 1940s—where he found material for his first short story. It was a brief period of happiness that ended with his parents’ separation and the untimely death of his beloved father. A search for companionship and security, undercut by a fierce independence and a tendency for risk-taking, would inform every choice he made for the rest of his life.
With intimacy and candour, Bond recalls his boarding school years in Shimla and winter holidays in Dehradun, when he tried to come to terms with a sense of abandonment, made and lost friends, discovered great books, and found his true calling. Determined to be a writer, he spent four difficult years in England, and he writes poignantly of his loneliness and heartbreak there, even as he kept his promise to himself and produced a book—the classic novel of adolescence, The Room on the Roof. It was born of his longing for India—the home he would return to even before the novel was published, taking a gamble that proved to be the best decision he made.
In the final, glorious section of the autobiography, he writes about losing his restlessness and settling down in the hills of Mussoorie, surrounded by generous trees, mist and sunshine, birdsong, elusive big cats, new friends and eccentrics—and a family that grew around him and made him its own.
Full of anecdote, warmth and gentle wit; often deeply moving and with a magnificent sense of time and place—and containing over fifty photographs—Lone Fox Dancing is a book of quiet and enduring magic, like Ruskin Bond himself.
A three-part collection of observations by India’s most beloved writer—and by the thinkers and artists he admires—on serenity and how to achieve it; on love and how to keep it; and, above all, on happiness—how to be and stay happy. This little box is the perfect gift, and the perfect keepsake.