Ruskin Bond’s “Scenes from A Writer’s Life”

Scenes From A Writer’s Life is one of the most beautiful creations by Ruskin Bond(of course nothing can match his another short story titled “Most Beautiful” .I have passionately read and reread almost all of his books published till date ,yet his nostalgic autobiography ,titled “Scenes from a writer’s life’’ has touched me the most. Usually his works are semi-autobiographical; however, this works is a class apart. The writer has shown delicately the complexities through which his life glided and revealed his innermost persona in the pages. This book can essentially be considered as a consolidation of his experiences which inspired most of his stories Ruskin Bond clearly lets out the secrets behind the successful grooming of an author. In the pages Bond makes us travel to those days when India’s roads were less used, tree-lined and cleaner with few but beautiful cars traveling through them.He also provides a slice of history, of British Raj times, of the afternoons filled with tea-parties and laughter and music.He also makes us glimpse through the turbulent times of partition(one touching incident when he was cycling along the streets of Dehradoon and a mob comprising of Indian nationalist set upon him.To this day he cannot recall as to what grave harm a nine year boy would have done them. He fell down was hurt ,reached home and yet never told his elders as he wisely felt that it could lead to further trouble). He speaks of those brits, jettisoned by the Raj, who had nowhere to go.He talks of the crippled Miss kellner, Miss deeds with her child 11 years of age, was waylaid by college lads and raped. He talks of the old retired couple who could not afford their medicines and died together hand in hand. Yet, there is surprisingly no bitterness, for Bond is basically a poet who can understand the language of heart and complexities which arise during such turbulent times. He talks of his adventures with books,David Copperfield by Charles Dickens or Hugh Walpole’s fortitude which inspired him towards a writerly life. Bond discusses upon the dilemmas and his realizing himself to be deeply rooted in the lush sylvan surroundings which India; particularly the Doon valley had to offer. Unlike many others, despite being of British origin, he ultimately came to realize his rootedness in India ,his forefather from his mother’s or father’s side had remained in India for more than three hundred years and so he was more Indian than British. No wonder, he struggled hard and returned to the land of his origin when he had been deliberately packed over to England.Bond writes of the beautiful times , growing up with a father serving in the RAF intelligence wing and his passing-away, his crushes with girls,his teachers at the BCS, the good and bad times with his friends and all that makes for good autobiographical writing. He also reveals about the books and those lovely old films which developed his own imagination required for further writing. He also discuses the lives of Anglo-Indian(domiciled europeans),who faced lots of hardships and kept a brave face cheerfully working hard to make both the ends meet. The book also points out the determination of the young authour ,to write during those tough times,was a brave thing to do.He also writes beautifully ,about his daily life,reflecting the master artist with words that he is. No wonder , Sir VS Naipaul was deeply touched by his writings and Dr. Mulk Raj Anand could say that he could write better about India than the Indians themselves.


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