Rendezvous with Rusty: How to meet Ruskin Bond
Every journey in my life has been more of an impromptu excursion, this Landor getaway has also been a sudden plan made out of my deep hankering for going out to a tranquil and untouched place in the northern mountains. After, doing a lot of petty little things with my mum dad, I finally convinced them for going out on a small misty weekend to Musoorie. Although I have been to Mussoorie for an umpteenth number of times, but every time I have a sojourn in Mussoorie I see it through a whole new perception. Since, each time I pay a visit to the queen of the hills I step into the mist of those snow clad mountains with an authentic and chaste perspective of my grown up self.
Stepping back to the decrepit lanes of an epoch long past when I paid my initial visit to Mussoorie, I was a 9 year old innocent, naive girl. As far as I remember, the window panes of my nostalgic mind starkly reminds of Rusty. Back in 2009, I met Mr, Ruskin Bond, the very famous children’s writer of India had scheduled a visit to some quirky bookstore in the D-block market of Dehradun.
. My mum inadvertently came across a placard regarding his visit and categorically took me to the bookstore. Perhaps, she felt nostalgic or the thought of making her girl clicked with a famous author captivated her towards the bookstore. At that time I didn’t know about Mr. Bond.
“He is a famous writer, go stand in the best possible pose along with a stark smile, I will click your picture.”
Being insisted by my motherhood to get a snap clicked with him, doubt I categorically stood beside him in a clueless manner. And to my surprise I still have that snap lying in a forlorn and tarnished box of memories, perhaps in some bland nook or corner of my untouched cupboard.
Well the above lines don’t fit well with the niche of the article but the soul of the article does fall and align the gist of my Landour journey. Back, during my initial visits to Mussoorie I wasn’t even aware of the existence of a quaint little hamlet called Landour.
Rolling back to the month of May in 2019, I somehow managed to convince my mum-dad to plan a small excursion to Landour. This time I was totally aware of the utmost existence of Mr Bond’s home and off course the value of his timeless writing pieces as well. Having my tansitory base in Jaipur, I categorically booked a Volvo through red bus and made it to Delhi as early as I can, In that intense instant of excitement my wanderlust soul stashed tons of books as well. Though stashing of books wasn’t required for that excursion. Perhaps my mind finds books synonymous to Ruskin Bond and his home town Landour.
To my knowledge Mr Bond pays his visit to one of the famous book stores of Mussoorie, i.e. The Cambridge book Depot on every evening of the misty tourist infested Saturdays of the mall road from 3pm to 5pm, till the sun starts getting doused into the winter of those serene snow clad mountains.
20th April, 2019- Saturday
As I woke up to this beautiful and salubrious atmosphere, the first thing I did was to take a sneak-peek through the magical window overlooking to the mist clad range of the queen of hills. Considering that having a rendezvous with Rusty was the fulcrum of this small excursion, I had to plan the itinerary in accordance to his visit at the famous Book store.
The initial hours of the day started out with the long strolls across the vintage British mansions marking the vibe of that epoch old Colonial era. As my wanderlust soul wafted onto the rustic lanes towards the happy valley side of the Garwahal district, I suspected a few native people decked up in their nascent outfits and articles belonging to the misty culture of the mountains. After an hour long hike up to the happy valley, a visit to the tranquil sanctum, the ‘shedup choepelling’ temple was of utmost importance, since no other place in Mussoorie could have been as peaceful as it was.
The kindling desire of my wanderlust infested soul has been doused by the 10 minutes trek to the Dalai hills which was probably one of the most serene places that I have been to so far. In that instant of serene tranquillity I totally forgot that meeting Mr Bond was the fulcrum of this sojourn. Hence, as soon as I was done with some Instagram worthy snaps I trudged down the valley and started to head towards the mall road.
The moment I reached, I was perplexed by suspecting the never ending queue of people yearning to get caught hold of the immaculate site. Fortunately, having a momentous faith on the law of manifestation, I happened to be the last person in the never ending queue to suspect the glory of Mr. Bond and got my book ‘Rain in the Mountains’ signed by him. At that moment I felt like I have been the most fortunate creature on this earth, who got a chance to experience the serendipity of life. So, that’s how my rendezvous with Rusty took place in a serendipitous situation. Looking forward to have some more conversations with Mr. Bond, and off course the quaint rustic streets of Landour.