The name’s Bond, Ruskin Bond. Literary hero

Written By Unknown on Minggu, 08 Desember 2013 | 22.23

Twenty minutes before Ruskin Bond's session at the TOI Literary Carnival, a line began to form outside the auditorium. Ten minutes later, it had snaked across Mehboob Studio's courtyard. Realizing that there was no way the crowd could be accommodated indoors, the organizers moved the session to an open lawn. As soon as word got out, hoards of children—enthusiastic parents in tow—were trampling over flower beds in their eagerness to meet the master storyteller, whose books never seem to go out of style.

"My stories are not dated because I'm writing about normal human beings and their joys and sorrows. The world keeps changing around us, but basically at heart we are all the same," said Bond, who was in conversation with 15-year-old Arjun Mirani, an avid reader, guitar player and student of physics.

During the one-and-a-halfhour session, Bond touched on subjects as varied as his relationship with his father, who died when he was just nine, his belief—or rather lack thereof—in the paranormal and India's publishing industry. His fans got little insights into his life—he was paid just Rs25 for his early stories that were printed in an army magazine and the Illustrated Weekly—and a peek at his sharp wit. "There was a magazine down south. They would pay me Rs5 per story; so, I would send them all my rejects," said Bond. Asked about writer's block, he replied, "Put a waste paper basket in front of you and throw out the stuff that hasn't worked out."

Bond read out a passage from his short story 'Friends in Small Places' and one of his poems.

During a rapid-fire round, he revealed that his favourite author was Charles Dickens, character, Bertie Wooster and food, hot, buttered toast with a sardine on top.

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