Ruskin Bond is eighty-nine years old, and as the years go by, his contentment with living the life he has chosen—keeping to himself, with his family and his books, in Landour—has only grown stronger.
In his trademark warm, witty, whimsical style and his marvellously simple prose, Ruskin tells us how to enjoy the advancing years some of us are blessed with, and how to make the most of the amazing gift called life.
Below is an excerpt from the book –
Why do people retire at all? Why does that number ‘60’ fill them with apprehension? Why do they feel it ends the active period of their lives? It is just the opposite, in fact. We have, hopefully, learnt from all the mistakes of our youth and middle age; we have acquired maturity, if not great wisdom. We can’t change the world. We grew up in a troubled world, and here we are, still in a troubled world. It will always be so because humans are troublesome by nature. But if we have survived into our sixties and beyond, it is because we have learnt to live with trouble.
Ruskin Bond says, ‘To coincide with my eighty-ninth birthday, HarperCollins India has published The Golden Years, a book that I have written for those, like me, who can no longer climb trees, swing from the flying trapeze, or go sky-diving. There are, however, a great many other things we can do, and this book describes and enumerates some of them.
Life may not be a bed of roses—roses have thorns, after all—but if you can make your bed with care and dedication and a little love, you may find that it’s a good bed and a good life—often the best years of your life!’
Executive Publisher, Udayan Mitra, says, ‘A new book by Ruskin Bond is always something to look forward to—it’s almost guaranteed that, when you pick up a book by Ruskin, it will make you feel better, and make the world around you seem a bit more cheerful. I remember reading the manuscript of The Golden Years (written in longhand by Ruskin as usual) for the very first time on a day that was downright gloomy—both weatherwise and otherwise. By the time I had finished reading, though, the sun was shining again, the birds were chirping, and there was a smile on my face that simply would not be wiped off…
I’ve read it several times since, and it’s brought me great joy each and every time. I hope it’ll do the same for you. Having enjoyed eighty-nine long years on the planet, in The Golden Years Ruskin tells us in his inimitable way—through stories, anecdotes, remembrances, observations, witticisms— why, for those of us who are lucky enough to get there, our years as a “senior citizen” can really be the best years of our lives. But the book is not just for those who’ve lived a good long life; it’s for everyone – because it’s all about the joy of life itself.
I cannot wait for The Golden Years to be published on Ruskin’s birthday, on 19 May, and for readers to get their hands on this wonderful collection of all-new writings by one of the most beloved authors of our time.’
Managing Editor, Amrita Mukerji, says, ‘The Golden Years is a beautiful little book to keep by your side for when you are feeling down and out and need a pick-me-up. Flip to any of the pieces in this book, and you’ll find yourself smiling. It is not just meant for senior citizens; anybody, regardless of age, who is looking for some humour, some nuggets of wisdom, and most of all, some inspiration to keep going in this “troubled world” as Ruskin Bond puts it, will enjoy this book. It acts much the same way as a conversation with one’s favourite family elder—full of humorous anecdotes, gentle guidance, witticisms and a “goofy old man’s” reflections on a life well-lived.’
About the Book
Ruskin Bond is eighty-nine years old: long past sixty, the age at which one becomes a senior citizen; also the age around which it is said one should think of retiring from active life. As the years go by, his contentment with living the life he has chosen—keeping to himself, with his family and his books, in Landour—has only grown stronger. He takes great joy in the world outside his window: the changing shades of nature, interesting people, good food, nice walks. Inside his room there are thoughts and memories, and the journal and letters he writes every day.
All of it makes for a wonderful life—and that is what this book is about. In his trademark warm, witty, whimsical style and his marvellously simple prose, Ruskin tells us how to enjoy the advancing years some of us are blessed with, and how to make the most of the amazing gift called life.
About the Author
Ruskin Bond is one of India’s most well-known writers. Born in Kasauli, Himachal Pradesh, in 1934, he grew up in Jamnagar, Dehradun and Shimla. In the course of a writing career spanning over seventy years, he has published over a hundred books, including short-story collections, poetry, novels, essays, memoirs and journals, edited anthologies and books for children.
The Room on the Roof was his first novel, written when he was seventeen. It received the John Llewellyn Rhys Memorial Prize in 1957. He has also received many other awards, including the Sahitya Akademi award in 1992, the Padma Shri in 1999 and the Padma Bhushan in 2014. Many of his stories and novellas including The Blue Umbrella, A Flight of Pigeons and Susanna’s Seven Husbands have been adapted into films.
Ruskin lives in Landour, Mussoorie. His other books with HarperCollins include These are a Few of My Favourite Things, Koki’s Song, How to Be a Writer, The Enchanted Cottage and How to Live Your Life.