IWSG September- The name’s Ruskin Bond!

It’s the IWSG day and what a time I had answering this month’s question. But before I move on to the answer, here is all about the IWSG.

Purpose: To share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds!
Posting: The first Wednesday of every month is officially Insecure Writer’s Support Group day. Post your thoughts on your own blog. Talk about your doubts and the fears you have conquered. Discuss your struggles and triumphs. Offer a word of encouragement for others who are struggling.

The Twitter handle is @TheIWSG and hashtag is #IWSG.   
The next posting day is September 2nd. 
Sign up here.

The awesome co-hosts for the September 2 posting of the IWSG are PJ Colando, J Lenni Dorner, Deniz Bevan, Kim Lajevardi, Natalie Aguirre, and Louise – Fundy Blue! Do visit them and show some love.

Now for this month’s question. If you could choose one author, living or dead, to be your beta partner, who would it be and why?

Well, for me it would be none other than Ruskin Bond.Of all the things that draw me to the hills, it is the simplicity of life in a hill town that is most endearing. When I watched the series ‘Ek tha Rusty’ several years ago, I knew Ruskin Bond only as an odd writer who appeared in my English book, ‘The Gulmohar Reader’ once in a while. The simple charm of ‘Ek tha Rusty’ was enough to make me keen to read more from him. However, it wasn’t ‘Rusty’ but ‘The Room on the Roof’, the story of a seventeen-year-old boy (Rusty again) who makes his home in a tiny room on the roof of a house, that first made its way into my personal library. Finding Bond wasn’t that easy back then. You couldn’t order books at random. There was no Amazon, you see! I still managed to read some of his work. ‘The Night Train at Deoli’ hooked me to him like never before. Even some of his macabre ghost stories were as good as fairy tales for me, having grown up in Shimla where every single corner of a dilapidated house had a hundred strange tales to tell. ‘The Blue Umbrella’ made me see how an ordinary happening in life can turn into an extraordinary story- all you need is the right emotion to carry it forward.

Some of Ruskin Bond’s stories even spoke of my own little town. He was an alumnus of one of the schools there. But was it only this bond with Mr Bond that drew me to his stories? Yes, the familiarisation did play its role, but I think it was an instant connect with his simple, everyday stories that made me want to read him more. His characters have always been real. And so have been their struggles. Whether Hassan or Ram Bharose, I am sure I can meet them just about anywhere. They are like me or the people I know and see each day who talk to me!

I haven’t consciously tried to emulate Ruskin Bond in my writing but I would say he is there, very much there! I have been inspired by every bit of his writing and he would definitely be my choice for a beta partner. And here is a little secret of mine… I did think of the author once and even wrote a story of my failed attempt to visit him along with my children (great fans again) and a half-finished manuscript! Yes, I dared. If you would like to know what happened, read the story by clicking on the link below.

To the Writer’s Abode

As I type this piece, ‘A Book of Simple Living’ stares at me from the bedside. Do you think all this is enough to woo him to be the beta partner for my WIP? Who is that one writer you would choose? Let me know in the comments section right below!

42 thoughts on “IWSG September- The name’s Ruskin Bond!”

  1. I’m not a fan of Ruskin Bond but I’ll vouch for the fact that he is a person whom I would be delighted to spend a while with. He is so simple. I met him once in Mumbai as part of a function organised by ITC. I was too shy to go up and start a conversation while he waited alone for the major guests to arrive. How foolish I was!

    1. Oh wow…I will say you missed a chance sir. My son doesn’t enjoy reading him now when he’s discovered other writers. I am mostly charmed by the simplicity in his writing.

  2. I don’t know who Ruskin Bond – or most of the writers everyone chooses for a beta partner – is, but he’s sure to be impressed, and maybe even tempted to become your beta partner, after reading your posts about him!! 🙂 I love your dedication and the fact that you have a favorite writer so close to you (to your heart and your area)!

  3. I had read your other post of your visit to his place… I must admit that when I was on a vacation to Mussourie I did look for his house too. But I had not dared to go up-to his door though :)! I just adored his house from far …he being beta reader would be another cloud 9 experience if it were to happen ever 🙂

  4. I remember your post on going to Ruskin Bond’s post! How nice to hear more about the writer who inspired. The writer I would choose for my beta partner would be Tony Ardizzone. He was my first creative writing professor at Old Dominion University. I love him to see where my writing is now after he provided me with such a good foundation for it.

  5. Thanks Sonia for this comprehensive review of Ruskin Bond’s life and stories and your writing relationship with your model. Love your fan story too. Reminds me of my wish to meet Robertson Davies, when I was writing my Masters thesis on his trilogies. Unfortunately, he had died a few years before …. I still visited Canada, where I was thinking of doing my PhD at the partner University of mine, in Montreal. But we didn’t move, I didn’t like the atmosphere; half US, half Québécois, in two completely separate worlds; nothing much Franco-British about it, would have missed Europe too much.
    Happy Autumn writing. Take care.

  6. I’ve wondered about visiting my favorite author. But I think I’d be too nervous to meet them. I wouldn’t know what to say. I’m sure I’d freeze or babble on and on.

  7. mlouisebarbourfundyblue

    Hi, Sonia! It’s a blast to read about all the author’s that IWSG members would like to have as Beta readers. Thank you for introducing me to a great Indian author! I have to check him out! All the best to you!

  8. I’ve always wanted to try to find and visit a favourite author. That you attempted is an adventure many don’t take! I hope you do try to get in touch with him. And I shall be looking up his work!

  9. Hi Sonia! Another new author! Haven’t had the pleasure of reading Ruskin Bond. Sounds like he’s been an inspiration to you. We all need inspiration in our writer’s journey. Again, congrats on your award for the August WEP.

  10. I was not familiar with Ruskin Bond until today. It’s wonderful that you felt such a connection to his writing–that is the best feeling! I will now put him on my ‘radar’ for sure.

  11. Ruskin Bond is my fav too. May be like you connection goes to the hill state we share. My fav are Night train at deoli and that haunted story ” man without face ” ..don’t exactly remember the title but I guess you will understand which one I’m talking

  12. This is a lovely post! ‘Ruskin Bond is the name’, very true. His work rules the literary world and continues to inspire so many.

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