Ruskin Bond, born in Kasauli, is India’s most loved author. When he was quite young, his parents separated and he ended up having a complicated relationship with his mother. While he experienced traumatic boyhood, it also lent him his greatest asset-his writing style, that was empathetic towards children.
Nevertheless, while he enjoys the reputation of being a children’s book writer, his writings are enjoyed across all age groups. Here is a compilation of his famous short stories that have entertained the readers across generations.
- A Handful of Nuts:
Set in Dehradun, the story is about a 21-year-old man, who aspires to be an established writer. His literary journey, peppered with constant distractions in the form of romances and other adventures, makes it a good read.
- A Flight of Pigeons:
It is a true story, with the backdrop of the mutiny of 1857. It narrates the story of Ruth who is abducted by a Pathan. Ironically, the abduction is not due to Pathan’s hatred for Britishers but due to his love for her. Bond captures the simplicity of human emotions in this story gracefully.
- Crazy Times with Uncle Ken:
This makes for a light read, revolving around a lovable character Uncle Ken. Bond’s depiction of Uncle Ken is sure to remind you of some very near and dear family member(s).
- The Blue Umbrella:
The story revolves around a young girl’s gifted blue umbrella. Protecting it from the local shopkeeper who wants to own it at any cost makes it an exciting read.
- The Cherry Tree:
This is Rakesh’s journey of lovingly nurturing and protecting the cherry plant, until it become a sight to behold.
- The Day Grandfather Tickled a Tiger:
Enjoy the delightful account of a tiger cub being raised by a family having a monkey and a dog too. While the atypical pet has to leave the family, this story brings to the fore how animals respond to love and authority.
- The Night Train at Deoli:
Another Bond story, smeared with sensitivity, revolves around an 18-year-old boy’s meeting with a cane vendor on the lonely station. While their meeting is brief, Bond’s approach of capturing the meeting spirit of two strangers is unique.
- The Room on the Roof:
This is an emotional story of Rusty who is unhappy and wants to move out of his guardian’s custody. His escape from the house and finding his new found freedom and Indian friends makes it an interesting read.
- Time Stops at Shamli:
This is yet another classic depicting Bond’s special feelings for an important place where he met his first love. While she was a childhood friend, she is married now and things have changed on either side.
- Rusty, The Boy from the Hills:
This book tracks the adventures of a young boy, Rusty, who lives with his grandparents. He is always in the middle of some adventure. Either surrounded by pet pythons or surviving an air crash or meeting a ghost; the list goes on.
- Susanna’s Seven Husbands:
The sleepy hill station provides the perfect backdrop for this murder mystery. It revolves around Susanna and her search for love that results in her marriages and mysterious death of her spouses. While she is the prime suspect, but it’s never proven. Intriguing?
- When Darkness Falls:
The story of a traumatized war veteran leading a retired life and his frustrations makes it an engaging read. You will surely end up empathizing with the characters.
During these times of social distancing, online writing classes is a blessing for beginners learning to write. Becoming a good writer requires discipline, strong vocabulary, meticulous observation and above being an avid reader. So use this time to learn and read books of different genre. It will surely act as a booster and enhance your writing skills.
At the same time, if learning from experts is your preference, we have just the right course for you. “Learn writing online with Ruskin Bond” in his unluclass and learn from him first-hand the art of writing. Bond is a contemporary Indian author and has been a recipient of Padma Shri (1999) and the Padma Bhushan (2014). The “Learn writing online with Ruskin Bond” class takes you through his journey and Bond shares valuable lessons in this course. Happy learning!