Those were better days when writers were anonymous: Ruskin Bond
The author wryly complained that the writers hardly got time to write because of their presence in the literary festivals
“Where do we get the time to write? Now there is a literary festival every week, in every town or city. The publisher asks us to go there and when we come back he asks to write the book,” Bond said.
The author, a past recipient of the Sahitya Akademi Award, says previously writers, including the most successful ones were recognized only by their name or through their books.
“You could bump into them on a street and you won’t recognize them,” said the author who was here to release a compilation of stories written by children.
He also said that writing has become fashionable today with more people are taking it up as a profession unlike in the earlier times when writing wasn’t considered desirable.
“When I had told my mother that I wanted to be a writer, she had said, ‘Don’t be silly go join the Army’. Today writing is encouraged,” the 79-year-old author said.
Bond said that the young writers in the country were gifted in telling stories and possessed a lot ideas but could do more in terms of paying more attention to their language.
“If I have to make one criticism I would say, sometimes they are bit weak on grammar, but that might more reflect on the teaching they get in school. Nowadays, they don’t pay attention to grammar. There were some excellent stories but they needed editing,” said the Mussourie-based author.
The author, whose first novel, The Room on the Roof, written when he was 17 years old mentioned that Indian writing has come a long way.
“In my times, only four to five writers existed and they had to publish their stories abroad but today at least you can publish here and even make some money out of it,” he said.
The author, who has been writing regularly for the past 60 years penned is currently busy with his next book, a humorous tale and promises that much more is in store.
“Something or the other will come out soon,” he said. His books have been adapted into several films in Bollywood but Bond says he does not have any plan to write a script for a movie.
“The stories that have been made into films were stories that I wrote without cinema in mind,” he said.
Bond’s historical novel “A Flight of Pigeons” was made into a Hindi film “Junoon” (1978).
The author’s short story “Susanna’s Seven Husbands” was filmed as “7 Khoon Maaf”. In 2007 a film on his story “The Blue Umbrella” won the National Film Award for Best Children’s Film.