New Delhi: Popular author Ruskin Bond turned 86 on Tuesday and to celebrate the occasion, Speaking Tiger has brought out his new book which is about his adventures on boats, trains and planes.
In "Hop On: My Adventures on Boats, Trains and Planes", Bond narrates some of his memorable travel adventures from his childhood.
With illustrations by Samrat Halder and published by Speaking Tiger's children's imprint Talking Cub, the book takes readers on a journey with young Bond that is as hilarious as is wonderful.
It was released in an e-book format on his 86th birthday.
Wishing Bond a very happy birthday, Sudeshna Shome Ghosh, Publisher and Editor of Talking Cub, said, "We are delighted to be celebrating it by releasing this sweet and charming book. Ruskin Bond is the gentlest, loveliest of writers and we do hope you will join us in wishing him, and celebrate it as well, by reading his new book and exploring all his writings on this day."
One night, Bond dreamt he was an engine driver. He was in a smart blue uniform, and was driving a toy train up the hills. Everyone was enjoying the ride when suddenly he woke up.
"But in my mind, I was on the train, so I quickly sat down to write about some eventful journeys I have had," said Bond about how he conceived the idea of the book.
Every year on his birthday, Bond used to spent time in the evening at his favourite bookstore, Cambridge in Mussoorie, with hundreds of children and adults and cut a cake.
Bond was born in Kasauli, Himachal Pradesh, and grew up in Jamnagar, Dehradun, New Delhi and Shimla. As a young man, he spent four years in the Channel Islands and London. He returned to India in 1955. He now lives in Landour, Mussoorie with his adopted family.
At the age of eight, Bond escaped his jail-like boarding school in the hills and went on to live with his father in Delhi. His time in the capital was filled with books, visits to the cinema, music, and walks and conversations with his father - a dream life for a curious and wildly imaginative boy, which turns tragic all too soon.
His first novel "The Room on the Roof", written when he was 17, received the John Llewellyn Rhys Memorial Prize in 1957. Since then, Bond has written a number of novellas, essays, poems and children's books.
He has also written over 500 short stories and articles that have appeared in magazines and anthologies. He received the Sahitya Akademi Award in 1993, the Padma Shri in 1999 and the Padma Bhushan in 2014.
Some of Bond's other titles published by Talking Cub include "When I Was a Boy: Scenes and Stories from My Childhood", "Friends in Wild Places: Birds, Beasts and Other Companions" and "The Book of Crazy Mischief" (co-edited with Jerry Pinto).