As India's much loved author Ruskin Bond turns 82 on Thursday, his fans will be treated to two new books -- "My Favourite Nature Stories" and "The World Outside My Window" -- themed on nature, the writer's first love.
In the first (both are published by Rupa), Bond talks about his various encounters with the natural world. From the chorus of cicadas to the song of the whistling thrush, from his love for sea shells to his favourite place on earth, Bond details the reasons for his abiding love for nature.
“When I came to live in Mussoorie just over 50 years ago, I lived in Maplewood Lodge, a cottage below Wynberg-Allen School. Its windows opened on to a well-forested hillside. So naturally, I wrote about the trees, wild flowers and birds and other creatures that lived among them,” he says.
Bond further states that circumstances forced him to move higher up to the Moor of Ivy Cottage in Landour Cantonment, where he has been staying for the last 35 years. “Here too, the windows open on to the sky, the clouds, the Doon valley and range-upon-range of mountains. And from this perch on the hillside I feel that I am part of the greater world,” Bond says.
The second book is a handy guide for Bond's fans who wants to explore nature.
“When you have some time to spare, make a list of all the different insects that you can name. Imagine you knew the name of every kind of insect in India or even in the world. If you were to write them all down, it would take you at least a month, without stopping to sleep or eat, to complete your list,” says Bond, who has won multiple awards, including Padma Bhushan and the Padma Shri - India's third and fourth highest civilian honours.
In this delightful little book, Bond writes about some of the most interesting insects, birds, trees and flowers he has observed. From the butterfly, dragonfly, scorpion and ant lion to different varieties of cacti, semul trees, jasmine flowers and the wild flowers found in the Himalayan region, as well as birds of the hills and urban areas like Delhi, Bond describes them all.
Amazon will offer all Ruskin Bond e-books published by Rupa for Rs.82 for three days, starting May 18.