Mar 17, 2011

Meeting Bond Saheb !

I have been a bad girl! I promised to do a Blog Marathon this month, wrote faithfully for 11 days and then promptly disappeared! My sincere apologies but I was really and truly hard pressed for time and didn’t want to write half hearted posts just for the heck of writing. It’s more important to write posts worth reading rather than just mindless blabber is it not! Any how now that I have apologized (and hope to be forgiven :) ) let me tell me you what I have been up to. I went to the Penguin Spring Fever Festival on Sunday and Met Ruskin Bond! If you have been reading me for a while you will know that for me Ruskin Bond equals God. I don’t think a greater fan ever lived than me! I have all his books and have read each one of them countless times. The kind of life I would love to lead is the kind of life he is leading right now; tucked away among the mountains, doing what he loves to do best– Writing.
So when I found out that Penguin India was organizing a conversation between Vishal Bhardwaj and Ruskin Bond on the last day of their spring fever fest I knew I simply had to be there! I badgered the poor lady at Penguin for invites till she finally sent me a few. I then badgered my friend M to accompany me. She was not too keen to dislodge herself from in front of her TV on a Sunday but I got my way by bribing her with dinner at the American Diner after the show.
The program was at habitat center, a place that I really love for its architecture and ambiance. We reached there around 5 pm and started browsing the books Penguin had displayed. I was looking around idly when I spotted a man standing in a corner, talking to someone. Suddenly with a jolt I realized that it was Ruskin Bond. I was so excited that I could only pull at my friends sleeve and point excitedly in his direction. M asked me why don’t I go and talk to him. But I didn’t want to barge in a private conversation so I just stood where I was. I am really weird that way. Someone else would have run to meet her idol and here I was standing and gaping but too shy to go and talk to him. M was well aware of my obsession with Ruskin Bond so she literally dragged me to him. By that time he had already started walking away. I was about to turn away disappointed when M ran after him shouting Mr. Bond Mr. Bond. He turned around and smiled and M literally pushed me forward. He signed a few books for me and I finally got a chance to talk with my idol. There was still an hour for the program to begin and there were very few people about so we could chat undisturbed. He is such a sweet and gentle soul! So quiet and unassuming! This was my second interaction with Ruskin Bond and once again I was left enchanted. M who hadn’t met him before is now totally under his spell! Finally he went back inside and I walked back in a trance.
Vishal Bhardwaj and Ruskin Bond walked in around 7 to a rousing applause and strains of what else but the Daaaarling song! The conversation between them was moderated by Mahmood Farooqui the Co-Writer of Peepli live. They mostly spoke about adapting stories from movies as two of Vishal’s movies are based on stories by Ruskin Bond (Blue Umbrella and off course Saat Khoon Maaf).The original story Susanna’s Seven Husbands by Ruskin Bond is actually a light hearted short story. Once Vishal Bhardwaj decided to make a movie out of it Bond Saheb (As he referred to Ruskin Bond!) had to re write it into a novella form. Finally Vishal made it into something as dark and sinister as Saat Khoon Maaf. I feel the original story is much more interesting (But then I am more of a reader and a movie buff!)
Ruskin Bond also spoke about creative writing for a bit and I hung on to each word!
After the program we watched a bit of the Quawalli organized by Penguin and then went to the American Diner where to show our happiness for a evening well spent we downed 3 tequilas one after the other. So on Sunday night, if you saw a two supposedly dignified young ladies sitting in a corner of American Diner downing tequilas and talking giddily you know who they were!!

Leaving you with a few snaps we clicked that day from our mobiles (not very good quality I am afraid!)


  1. Oh I am soooo sooo jealous of u - 2nd time at that!
    U do have a lovely friend in M :) Pls tell her that :)

  2. Now i know what to answer to the question "If you could be someone else for a day, who would it be?". It's be you!! On that Sunday!
    Ooooh...or, I could be his house maid or help or whatever! :D

    I'm sooo jealous of you!

  3. Oh count me into the Ruskin Bond fan club as well! It was an honor to meet him when he had visited Mumbai for a book reading last year. I will cherish the book with his autograph forever! Thank you for sharing your meeting with the Man himself! :)

  4. @swaram - yes M is a lovely friend and I owe her a big one now !
    @Scorpria - Ha ha ha ! He is not so inaccessible ! you can go to Mussorie and meet him. Infact that’s my dream to meet Ruskin Bond at his cottage !

  5. @Rumya - Yes now I have three books with his autograph ! You know I dont even lend these books to anyone:)

  6. Ruskin Bond lives a life many of us want to and in such a beautiful place ... you were so very lucky to be there ...actually it was not worked hard for it :)

    And as you say you feel like barging into a conversation...i am like that too...i can seldom go and say hi when two people are talking...all the more difficult when one of them is someone like Ruskin Bond :)

  7. @sangeeta - yes I wish I could live like he does ! I didnt like barging in, but once I had, he was extremely gracious about it :)



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