Whenever young Ruskin goes to jungle with a group of shikaris on expedition, he stumbles upon books. This story is also based on the similar lines. In the winter of 1944, Ruskin Bond was eight years old when he went to the jungle on an expedition with his mother and stepfather. Today this jungle is known as Rajaji sanctuary, located between Hardwar and Dehradun.
Ruskin doesn’t like killing of animals. Thus, he doesn’t appreciate shikaris or poachers. Well, this time he has been compelled to go on an expedition. On the first day, he is persuaded to sit on an elephant. It takes him deep into the forest. They are going deep into the forest, all of sudden a spotted deer crosses their way. Suddenly, the shikari sitting beside him begins firing at the deer. The deer struggles for some time and then moves a few steps before flopping down in the dust. Its struggle unnerves the elephant. It turns from the spot and begins running pell-mell, crashing through small trees and shrubs. The branch of a tree catches him across the face and almost sweeps him off the elephant. Fortunately, the mahout gets it under the control and young Ruskin receives a few scratches.
Next day, Ruskin declines the offer for an excursion and stays back with the khansama in the rest house. While exploring the rest house, he comes across a wall cupboard with a couple of shelves full of books. The first book he takes out is of P.G. Wodehouse’s Love among the Chickens. This book has nothing to do with hunting wild fowls. Rather, it is a romantic comedy about chicken farming, and it features the incorrigible Stanley F. Ukridge, one of the most popular characters of P.G. Wodehouse. From this character, Ruskin learns resilience. He finishes the book in a day.
In the evening, shikaris return home with a couple of partridges. They are distraught and tired. Next day, leaving Ruskin home, they go out again. He is happy and free to explore the bookshelf and its literary treasures. The second book he opens is of M.R. James’ Ghost Stories of an Antiquary, a set of stories about supernatural powers. These tales are meant for adult readers with some sort of academic background, but Ruskin has no difficulty in reading them. This book nudges him to read and explore more about the writers specialized in ghost stories. By reading these ghost writers only Ruskin has now become a perfect writer for murder mysteries and ghost stories.
This Ruskin Bond book informs us about the events that led him to be a reader and then a writer.
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