Man from the mountains still writes by hand

Written By Unknown on Senin, 09 Desember 2013 | 22.23

All my life, there is one thing I've always been proud of," said Ruskin Bond. "I don't claim to be a great writer , but I'm proud of the fact that I made a living just from writing. And in the '50s, '60s, '70s, that was difficult." Perhaps the country's most-loved author, Bond received a Lifetime Achievement Award on Sunday at the Carnival. Before a rapt audience spanning generations, he discussed life, love and words with author Chetan Bhagat.

Bond recalled his early days as a freelancer, doing odd jobs when he was in England as a teenager, and spoke of why he chooses to live in Mussoorie. "People were then going abroad to become writers. I came here to do that," he said. The advance of 50 pounds he received from the publisher for his first book, The Room on the Roof, was spent on ship-fare to India. "And I still had 10 pounds left. So I used that to go to Mussoorie."

He took himself far too seriously as a writer, Bond admitted , when he was 17. "My stories then were for the general , adult reader or for myself !" It was only in his forties that he began writing for children . He once visited a school where some of his stories were part of the curriculum. When a little girl was introduced to him and asked to tell him how she found his writing, the 9-year-old looked him up and down. "She sized me up, and said, 'You're not a bad writer."

His first book was based on the journal he maintained during his last year in India, before moving to England. Once back, he hasn't left and the mountains have inspired his writings. He writes by hand now, and has retired his trusty old typewriter. Technology holds no appeal for him, he said. "What is a laptop? For a while, I thought it involved sitting in someone's lap!"

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