Mussoorie: Children are the recurrent theme in Ruskin Bond`s books and the author reveals that his lonely childhood has a lot to do with the theme of his stories.
Ruskin was just four-year-old when his British parents, Edith Clerke and Aubrey Bond separated and he was raised by his grandmother.
"I have always written a lot about the past. I go back into my life. So, in a way the older I get the more I have to write about because you have more people to remember -- friends, family, incidents and events.
"Many people ask me why do I write so much about children which I started doing in my 40s. Before that I was writing more or less about adults. I had a pretty lonely childhood and it helps me to understand a child better," Ruskin said.
The author started his literary journey by telling the autobiographical story of an orphaned Anglo-Indian boy Rusty in his first novel, `The Room on the Roof`, followed by its sequel `Vagrants in the Valley` and 30 other books for children in his more than three-decade-long career.
Ruskin has moved on since but what lives with him is the love for children, whose energies keep him going at 79. He meets them weekly at Mussoorie`s famous Cambridge book stall.
"I love watching children grow. You can`t be a serious writer if you are not interested in people. I find people interesting so that I can`t get bored. Age has not taken a toll on my writing but on my tummy," he joked.
The Padma Bhushan awardee says while not many things have changed, he has become more philosophical as he grows old.
"My writing has slightly changed because now I have become more philosophical. As you get older your views about life change your perception.
"When I was in 20s I was writing love stories. It was my romantic period. And now in my 70s and 80s I find life funny and that`s why I write more humorous stories. So, age also in a way has an effect on the kind of stories you are writing," he said.