Like many of you, I too grew up reading stories by Ruskin Bond.
His 'The Night Train To Deoli' was a part of our syllabus and our first gentle brush with romance ❤
With many memories, we hoped to meet him while on our trip to Landour. For those who are not aware, Ruskin Bond lives in Landour and meets his ardent fans, across all age groups, at Cambridge Book Depot on Mussoorie Mall Road.
Thanks to unorganized tourism, patches of bad road leading to popular destinations and rush of tourists (irrespective of vacation time) road trips in some cases are no longer a pleasure, but an exhausting experience. So as luck would have it, we reached Landour pretty late and we missed our opportunity of meeting him in person.
The next day we soaked in the beauty of the small cantonment through a leisurely stroll. On reaching Doma's Inn we stood there looking up at the building hoping to catch a glimpse of the writer. His home is part of the same building as the inn.
After must coaxing by my friend and husband I gathered my courage to ring the doorbell. It was afternoon and I was hesitating to intrude so. I had heard mixed reviews about people's visit to his home. The bell was answered by a young girl, who informed me that he was taking his siesta. Chapter over ????
After spending some more time exploring the place, we went downhill to the Mussoorie Mall Road. We were not sure of the days he was available at the book store; some sources mentioned Saturdays some said weekends....... for us it was no harm trying our luck.
The owner informed us that Mr Bond came only on Saturdays, provided he was in town and his health was good. He goes to fetch him and drops him back as a routine. People make a long line right from 11 am or earlier to meet him, take his autograph and a photo with him to freeze the moment. He comes around 3 pm for an hour and half. Invariably all are not lucky enough to meet him even if in queue.
Hold on! You needn't be disappointed. Here are some options for you:
* There are autographed books available in the store. You can buy any of them.
* You can choose any of his book, leave your name and postal address with the owner of the Cambridge Book Depot. He gets them autographed (with a mention of your name) and couriers it to the given address. All you have to do is pay for the book and courier charges and leave the necessary details.
* As a fan, you can also leave short notes / fan mail for him
Isn't it delightful!
I picked up quite a number of signed books as souvenirs; especially for my reader friends and family. I also got a personalized autographed book couriered. Now most of us have a treasure in form of his book with his signature.
When you plan a trip to Landour or Mussoorie keep this in mind. Its better to arrive a day earlier i.e. on Friday. One has to have the patience to wait in the queue for long hours. Plan your day accordingly.
Avoid meeting him in his personal space, his home. Firstly, its invading someone's privacy and lastly he would not encourage it. You can always see his home from the outside ????
Sharing some compilation of quotes by Ruskin
You may also like to read:
This book has been gifted to me by my dearest friend. A beautiful read!
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Monika Ohson | TravelerInMe
This was first published in TravelerInMe