New Delhi: Prolific author Ruskin Bond, a storyteller beloved by children and adults alike, is set to celebrate his 82nd birthday with the publication of two new books, which showcase his overwhelming love for nature. 'My favourite Nature Stories' and 'The World Outside My Window' are being brought out by Rupa Publications on May 19, the author's birthday.
While in the first book Bond details various encounters with the natural world, in the second book he writes about some of the most interesting insects, birds, trees and flowers he has observed.
"When I came to live in Mussoorie just 50 years ago, I lived in Maplewood Lodge, a cottage below Wynberg-Allen School. Its windows opened on to a well-forested hillside. So naturally I wrote about the trees, wild flowers, and birds and other creatures who lived among them," Bond says.
From Mussoorie, in the foothills of the Himalayas, Bond says circumstances forced him to move higher up the mountain, where he has been living for the last 35 years on the top floor of Ivy cottage in Landour Cantonment.
"Here there are windows too, and they open on to the sky, clouds, the Doon Valley and range upon range of mountains. And from this perch on the hillside I feel that I am part of the greater world, mother India as well as the natural world of planet Earth," he says.
From the chorus of cicadas to the song of the whistling thrush, from his love for sea shells to his favourite place on earth, Bond details why he has such an overwhelming love for nature.
In the 'World Outside My Window' Bond advises readers, when they have some time to spare, to make a list of all the different insects that they can name.
"Imagine you knew the name of every kind of insect in India or even in the world. If you were to write them all down, it would take you at least a month, without stopping to sleep or eat, to complete the list!" he says.