“I used to be rather intense as a young man. As I get older, life seems to get funnier. You also get more philosophical when you look back, you are prepared to be more forgiving,”’
One of India’s favourite authors, Ruskin Bond, on the company of undemanding ghosts, his obsession with semi-colons and why he ought to have named his recently-released autobiography, ‘Twenty-Two Steps’.
‘It can be reasonably argued that in India, from the beginning of its civilisational enterprise, nothing has remained singular for long; in fact, nothing has been, in a sense, allowed to be singular for long. Whether God or religion, philosophy or metaphysics, language or custom, cuisine or costume, every realm is marked by plurality. It is not accidental that in many Western languages the word India is plural—‘Indes’, meaning ‘Indias’.’ Indian Cultural Forum carries an excerpt from India Dissents: 3000 Years of Difference, Doubt and Argument edited by Ashok Vajpeyi.
‘Sitting in the mountains, I remember the sea: tinsel on a vast field of water, and sunny white sheets billowing in the wind.
I remember a forest of nodding flowers and patches of red, yellow, green and blue light on a wall.
And I remember a little boy who ate a lot of kofta curry and was used to having his way.’
The Sunday Guardian carries an excerpt from Lone Fox Dancing: My Autobiography by Ruskin Bond.
‘I chose to name my story “The Adivasi Will Not Dance” as an act of defiance. Adivasis are made to dance at government functions, are made to entertain VIP guests, but what do they get in return? Adivasis are among the major casualties of all the development programmes of the government, be it roads, dams, power plants, or any factory or industry for that matter. So what might happen if Adivasis refuse to dance at a government programme, which has been organised to lay the foundation stone of a thermal power plant which would, again, displace several Adivasis from their villages? So, once I had this idea, I turned it into a story, and since my editor and I had this feeling that this was the strongest story in the collection, we decided to name the collection The Adivasi Will Not Dance. .’ Hansda Sowvendra Shekhar’s interview with Preeti Singh, The Sunday Guardian.
‘No one ever bothered me, neither man nor beast. I was conscious all the time of the silent life in the surrounding trees and bushes, and on the road. I smelt a leopard on a couple of occasions, but did not see it. I felt the warmth of a body very close behind me, but when I turned there was no one.’
Scroll carries an excerpt from Lone Fox Dancing: My Autobiography by Ruskin Bond.
‘The Adivasis of India have been subjected to systematic oppression for centuries and postcolonial India continues with the same processes by different means. Hansda Sowvendra Sekhar’s short story, “The Adivasi Will Not Dance” explores the subalternization of such communities as well as the evolution of subaltern consciousness, as manifested by the protagonist of the text, Mangal Murmu, whose monologue constitutes the narrative.’
Click here to read the entire paper on ‘Examining Subalterneity in Hansda Sowvendra Sekhar’s The Adivasi Will Not Dance‘ published in the journal Postcolonial Text, Vol. 12, No. 1 (2017).
‘Let the people of J&K decide what they want.’ Click here to read an excerpt from the interview of Dr Christopher Snedden, author of Understanding Kashmir and Kashmiris with The Hindu Business Line.
‘“I’m a romantic at heart. I have lived a life which is a bit like escaping from ugly realities, not because I like people less but because I like the mystery of wild animals more!”’ Click here to read an excerpt from the interview of Jonathan Scott, author of The Big Cat Man with Indian Express.
‘People often look at someone and wish they could do what that person did, but soon they figure out a reason why they can’t. The point is, they can if only they believe in themselves. This book is the link between the dreams and the journey with which I want to inspire people. I want to tell them that I could do it only because I was determined and persisted with my dream.’ Heena Khandelwal, DNA India in conversation with Jonathan Scott, author of The Big Cat Man.