Dateline Mussoorie: 19th of May 2019, began for author Ruskin Bond with a bunch of politicians, a media crew in tow and excited fans arriving early morning at Ivy Cottage, Landour to wish the author many happy returns of the day.
One saw how a large bouquet of flowers was followed by selfie-time celebrations for who’s who. Everyone took selfies with the same bunch of flowers, like in pass-the-parcel game. When they left, the last one walked off with the bouquet. Someone climbing up the stairs grabbed it from him and brought it back and gave it to the author with great aplomb. Another selfie! After the last one left, everyone frantically looked around for a vase with water to put the flowers in! Only to realize – they were plastic flowers!’
Covid-19 has changed that this year. Arriving at 85, the Ruskin is content, ‘to have a nice, quiet, peaceful birthday!’ He tells Newspost over the phone.
How has life been under lockdown? I ask. “Sleep a little, eat little, write a little, has been my mantra,” he tells me, adding, “I don’t mind this. I am used to working from home. Why go out?”
Surendar and Sunil Arora, owners of Cambridge Book Depot in Kulri sum up their feelings in one word: “Disappointed!”
Rest assured that once this lockdown is a thing of the past, there will be a special birthday celebration for the author twice over!
Meanwhile, as always, we, his fans, will have to wait with bated breath.