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Ruskin Bond is an Indian author of British descent. He lives with his adopted family in Landour, in Mussoorie, India.  The writer, considered to be a pioneer of children’s short stories has a connection with Northeastern part of India which he revealed in his recently published book,  ‘Journey Down the Years’. In one of the chapters of the book called ‘Gran’s Kitchen’, he recalls how he went to spend time in Dehra at his grandmother’s when he was still a young school boy. He mentions about the time he spent in the tea plantations in Assam, where his father was a manager in one of the tea gardens.  How he and his family including his mother and father spent a brief time there. Though not a very significant time, Bond has had a special connect with the place.

As he quotes in page 51 of his book ‘Journey Down the Years’, “…..I would spend atleast a month with Gran before going over to my parents in Assam. My father managed a tea plantation there, and although the tea gardens were fun to play in, my parents couldn’t cook….”

It may be mentioned that when the famous author was in Guwahati for the River Talks festival, organized by by the Royal Group of Institutions a few years ago, he was quite enthusiastic to spend his time in the region. He said, “The people here are very friendly. I met so many budding writers who are enthusiastic about literature. Natural beauty is also amazing. I wouldn’t mind spending the rest of my life here”.

The Indian Council for Child Education has recognized Ruskin Bond’s role in the growth of children’s literature in India. He received the Sahitya Academy Award in 1992 for Our Trees Still Grow in Dehra, for his published work in English. He was awarded the Padma Shri in 1999 and Padma Bhushan in 2014.

-By Shweta Raj Kanwar

The writer can be contacted at shwetarajkanwar@gmail.com or shweta@thenortheasttoday.com

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