Tag Archives: Padma Bhushan

How Ruskin Bond reveals his love for India: “All I really wanted was my little room back again”

Book Review by Richa Mohan

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Title: Lone Fox Dancing, My Autobiography

Author: Ruskin Bond

Publisher and date of publication: Speaking Tiger, 2017

Ruskin Bond is an award-winning author. He won the John Llewellyn Rhys Memorial Prize in 1957, for his very first novel, The Room on the Roof. Since then he has been honoured with various awards including the Sahitya Akademi Award for English writing in India in 1993, the Padma Shri in 1999, and the Delhi government’s Lifetime Achievement Award in 2012. He was conferred with the Padma Bhushan in 2014. In fact, his autobiography, Lone Fox Dancing, won the 2017 Atta Galatta-Bangalore Literature Festival Book Prize.

So how do you review the work of a master? Actually, you don’t. You simply flow with the magic of the master weaver of tales and feel lucky that you had a chance to, once again, experience the power of beautiful storytelling.

It is said greatness is born of suffering, and the story in the book is testament of that. You are transported to a simpler time and life, such that you actually end up yearning for them — for the days when pen and paper, and tales in the night, were an everyday reality. Read more

Writers Should Maintain a Certain Distance with the World: Anita Desai

By Veena Gokhale

Anita Desai, three time Booker Prize nominee, winner of several prestigious awards and with more than 17 books to her credit, was awarded the International Literary Grand Prize at the Blue Metropolis Literary Festival in Montreal, on April 29. The 10,000-Canadian dollar prize is awarded each year – since 2000 – to a world-renowned author in recognition of a lifetime of literary achievement. Former winners include Norman Mailer, Margaret Atwood, A.S. Byatt and Amitava Ghosh. Desai, known for books like Baumgartner’s Bombay, Clear Light of Day and In Custody, spoke to The Wire in Montreal.

You have been awarded the Blue Metropolis International Literary Grand Prize. You received the Benson Medal in 2003 and the Padma Bhushan in 2014. Do awards matter, or are they incidental to the writing?

This particular award tells me I have crossed a border and am now of an age where I can be given certain awards! (Smiles). Awards are certainly incidental. They are unexpected; they are not something you work towards, no.

What do you think is the purpose of literature? The worth of literature is being questioned these days, certainly here in Canada.

One works on two levels. At the subconscious level one is not working with an agenda, one is working out of a compulsion to tell your story, to put words on paper, to keep something from disappearing. And the joy of using language ought not to be forgotten.

On a conscious level, after you’ve written your work, sometimes it takes you by surprise. You say, oh, is that what it was about? At the end of the book you say, so that’s why it stayed in your mind for so long. What’s the reason for writing it? And invariably the reason is to tell the truth, in a somewhat sideways, somewhat subversive way. You don’t always manage to do that openly, face-to-face, you have to find a kind of a secret way. Read more

Source: The Wire

New Release: Suspected Poems by Gulzar

gulzar“He had the blue cow tattooed on his right shoulder

He would have been killed in the riots yesterday

But they were good people—

Seeing a cow, they let him go!”

Written in Gulzar’s inimitable style, the poems in his newest volume of poetry reflect and comment, sometimes elliptically through a visual image, sometimes with breathtaking immediacy and directness, on the political reality in the country today. Powerful, poignant and impossible to ignore or gloss over, the fifty-two threads that make up Suspected Poems unfold across the entire political spectrumfrom the disturbed climate in the country and the culture of intolerance to the plight of the aam aadmi, from the continued oppression of Dalits and minority communities to fluctuating Indo–Pak relations.

Published by Penguin, Suspected Poems has been translated into English by Pavan K. Varma. Suspected Poems will be available in a special keepsake bilingual edition.

About the Author:

Gulzar is one of India’s leading poets; he has published several volumes of poetry and short stories (many of which are available in translation) and is also regarded as one of the country’s finest writers for children. A greatly respected scriptwriter and film director, he is one of the most popular lyricists in mainstream Hindi cinema. He gained international fame when he won an Oscar and a Grammy for the song ‘Jai ho’. Gulzar received the Sahitya Akademi Award in 2002 and the Padma Bhushan in 2004. In 2014 he was awarded the prestigious Dadasaheb Phalke Award. He lives and works in Mumbai.

About the Translator:

Pavan K. Varma is the author of The Great Indian Middle Class, Being Indian, Becoming Indian and several other books. After a long and distinguished diplomatic career, he served as cultural adviser to the chief minister of Bihar, and was a member of the Rajya Sabha from 2014 to 2016

 

New Release: Death Under The Deodars: The Adventures of Miss Ripley-Bean by Ruskin Bond

death-under-the-deodars

In a brand-new collection of stories set in the 1960s -70s Mussoorie of a bygone era, renowned author Ruskin Bond brings to life a mystery and murder featuring the elderly Miss Ripley-Bean and her friends. The book titled, Death Under The Deodars: The Adventures of Miss Ripley-Bean is published by Penguin India.

The eight stories in the book are classic Ruskin style – full of wit and memorable characters, and will enthrall and delight children as well as adults. As the elderly Miss Ripley-Bean, her Tibetan terrier Fluff, her good friend Mr Lobo, the hotel pianist, and Nandu, the owner of the Royal, mull over the curious murders, the reader will be enthralled and delighted – until the murderer is finally revealed.

About the Author 

Ruskin Bond’s first novel The Room on the Roof was written when he was seventeen. He received the John Llewellyn Rhys Memorial Prize in 1957. Since then he has published a number of novellas, short story collections, books of essays and articles, poems and children’s books. He received the Sahitya Akademi Award in 1993, the Padma Shri in 1999 and the Padma Bhushan in 2014. Ruskin Bond was born in Kasauli, and grew up in Jamnagar, Dehradun, Delhi and Shimla. As a young man, he spent four years in the Channel Islands and London. He returned to India in 1955.

He currently resides in Landour, Mussoorie with his adopted family.

 

 

 

Q&A: Bond on being 80

The Indian children’s writer on receiving the Padma Bhushan and why children are a recurrent theme in his work: The Outlook

ruskin_bondFor me, every day is a new awakening. On my 80th, I greeted the early morning sun, watered my plants, wrote a page or two, salu­ted the world from my window, and treated myself to two eggs instead of the usual one!

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