Dehradun 2015 Episode 2 :The quest to meet Mr.Ruskin Bond at Mussoorie

Recently I watched the movie “The Sound of Music” and the famous song from the movie reminds me of Mussoorie,the valley of dreams,hope and beauty. The verse of the song goes like:(For the song click here :The sounds of music)

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The hills are alive with the sound of music
With songs they have sung for a thousand years
The hills fill my heart with the sound of music
My heart wants to sing every song it hears

My heart wants to beat like the wings of the birds
That rise from the lake to the trees
My heart wants to sigh like a chime
That flies from a church on a breeze

I go to the hills when my heart is lonely
I know I will hear what I’ve heard before
My heart will be blessed with the sound of music
And I’ll sing once more

Mussoorie,the queen of hills is a beauty well protected by armed mountains, long lived trees, cold breezes,flora and fauna and emancipated animals. My Dehradun trip would have been incomplete if we missed Mussoorie. It is 35 km from Dehradun and at a height of 1,880 metres (6,170 ft).

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We reached Mussoorie at around 12 pm and headed towards the main promenade,The Mall Road.

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A little bit of History goes like during the British rule there were signs like “Indians and Dogs Not Allowed” and racism all over the place. Motilal Nehru, the father of Jawaharlal Nehru, deliberately broke this rule every day and pay the fine whenever he was in Mussoorie.

Mussoorie is like poetry to a man who loves it so much to be living there for ages now.The first thing that came to my mind when I talk about hill stations is his work. His works are solely based on life in the foothills of Himalayas. Yes, he is The Ruskin Bond. ruskin_bond_20150309

Well aware of Ruskin Bond’s address and all the people who came long way to see him added all the anticipation to meet him. Being a fan of his ever green book “The Room on the roof” and all the hearty thoughts that connects to you ,reminds you of your childhood ,and your home town;(Yes,my home town is Dehradun) I had decided to meet him.

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After all the shopping stuff we asked for the route guidance and to my surprise people were not aware of Ivy Cottage(the place where he lives) but when I replaced my question to “Bhaiya,Ruskin Bond ka ghar kaha hai?” ,I was guided so well. We walked uphill endlessly with an excitement to finally look at the place from where such beautiful words and thoughts pour out.

Walking 20-25 minutes from Mall road we reached Ivy Cottage, Landour.I was sure about the area as I have already read the description of the place.The red stairs near the coloured building, living in first floor ,an open window ,and the beautific scenery;the picture was too clear.

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The leaves are a fresh pale green in the spring rain.I can look at the trees from my window-look down on them almost,because the window is on the first floor of the cottage.I do nearly all my writing at the window-seat.The trees watch over me as I write.

-Excerpts from Rain in the Mountains by Ruskin Bond

Without any doubt we went upstairs and ringed the bell.Not sure what the picture will be,we were addressed by a young lady.On asking for permission to meet the man we were informed that he went to Dehra for some work. Not sure he was there or not because visitors are mostly not allowed at his place.But for fans like us he already has his way.He meets his fans,autographs their books and talk with them at a famous book store in mall road (Cambridge Book Store) every Saturday.IMG_3230 IMG_3231dsc_1793 (1)The bookseller told me to come tomorrow and meet him personally.But I knew this won’t be possible as I have my whole family waiting and their plans as well.I took an already autographed book and was happy to finally discover the magical place from where a writer arose.11647286_10153394598988180_901541346_n

P.S. The Padma Shri and Padma Bhushan awardee,Mr Ruskin Bond is a pioneer to Children Literature and much more. Read the excerpts below to fall in love with the Sahitya Academy Awardee’s work.

All night the rain has been drumming on the corrugated tin roof.There has been no storm,no thunder,just the steady swish of a tropical downpour.It helps me to lie awake;at the same time,it doesn’t keep me from sleeping.

It is a good sound to read by-the rain outside,the quiet within-and,although tin roofs are given to springing unaccountable leaks,there is a feeling of being untouched by,and yet in touch with,the rain.

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