Nov 30, 2010

A book for all seasons !

As someone who is a certified Bookoholic I am fond of all the books that I have. Some books I like because they make me laugh, some because they make me think and some because they are sheer masterpieces with words woven into them as beautifully as an intricate tapestry! And then there are some special books that you can read again and again and again and never tire of. They give you the same comfort as a soft fluffy blanket on a cold winter day, warm and familiar. Books by Ruskin Bond make me feel that way. All his books are precious to me but there is one particular book by him that is very very close to my heart. And that book is Scenes from a Writer`s Life.

Scenes from a Writer`s Life is basically a memoir in which Ruskin Bond talks about his childhood years in Dehra, the brief but lonely years he spent in New Jersey and London as a struggling writer and his nostalgia for his friends and for India while he was there. I bought this book about 13 years back, just a few days after it was published.I guess the timing was simply perfect because a few weeks later I got an opportunity to go to Japan. I was very excited about it, it was something I had wanted for a long time. But my happiness was also tinged with little niggling fears. It was my first time in a foreign country and the first time I was going to be away from home for so long! As I packed my stuff for the year long stay, I mulled over which of my books I should take with me. Airlines to Japan only allow you a measly 20 kgs so I could hardly carry all of my books, much as I wanted to ! I had a hard time deciding the few books I wanted to take with me and I am so glad I chose Scenes from a Writer`s Life as one of them. This book turned out to be a real blessing in those first few harsh and lonely days that I spent in an alien country without any family or friends. Sitting in my small apartment in Tokyo, as I turned the pages and read Ruskin Bond`s poignant descriptions about the time spent with his friends in Dehra and his reluctant decision to leave India to become a writer, I could relate to it instantly. I could understand his loneliness, his yearning to get those days back again and yet his determination to follow his dream. In the chapter, “The Pure, the Bright and the Beautiful” Ruskin Bond writes about his going away「A month, only a month and I shall leave with the autumn…… I wish time could stand still now, this very minute, and that life could carry on this way. But my accursed ambition would not have it !」It was the same “accursed” ambition that had brought me so far from home and family to Japan! During those days, this book was my solace, something I turned to whenever I felt homesick. I read this book every night before I fell asleep and to a lonely and troubled heart this book was a great comfort and a source of inspiration!
Japan is almost a second home to me now, a country that I have returned to again and again. But even now, all I have to do is turn the pages of this book and I am instantly transported back to those very first days in Japan ! I have had this book for over a decade now and have read it innumerable times. It has become rather worn over time, but this is one book I can never let go. It has too many memories attached to it !
Another very very special thing about this book is that it has Ruskin Bond`s autograph in it. I had an opportunity to meet Ruskin Bond when he was in Delhi for a Book Reading and from all his books that I have I chose Scenes from a Writer`s life to get autographed! You can see his autograph here. Although its not a very clear picture!

I am extremely fussy about lending or giving away books, and It will be very difficult to get me to part with this book but if I have to lend it, it will be to someone who really appreciates what this book is all about. This book is not for the logical, calculative kinds, this book is for people who follow their hearts more than their minds!
This book should go to someone who is trying to chase his dreams. In his unobtrusive, gentle manner, Ruskin Bond might just give him some courage!

Note - This post has been written for the Blog Adda My Oldest Book and its memories Contest in collaboration with
Friends of Books - Library that delivers and I connect with bloggers at


  1. Wow!! I have a mate now... I am a huge fan of ruskin bond too.. Jealous of you that you have got his autograph. :). Do you think, people who fancy living in Himalayas like Ruskin??

  2. Ruchira, loved this post very much. Good luck for the contest.
    wow! u've managed to get Ruskin Bond's autograph

  3. Wow! U got his autograph and that too on such a prized book of his :) So nice Ruch and wishing u all the very best for the contest :)
    I am really choosy when it comes to lending books too, bcoz am so fussy abt keeping them well :P

  4. @anasarp – I am a HUGE fan ! and yes there are people who want to live in the mountains like Ruskin Bond ! I am one of them !

    @AlwaysHappy – Thank you !

    @Swaram – yes having his autograph makes it even more precious ! I am fussy too ! God help anyone who doesn’t treat my books well !!

  5. Wow! You got his autograph!?
    I'm a huge fan of his too.

  6. Your post has made me curious. Will try and get the book from flip kart...Have fun in Japan.

  7. @alphabet world - yes he is great isnt it !
    @Alka - Read it, You will really like it I think. Btw I am in India right now :-)

  8. I am dying to read this book now after reading this post ....



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