Kolkata, Jan 23 (IANS): Celebrated author Ruskin Bond on Friday said proximity to nature helped shape his writing, and Nobel laureate Rabindranath Tagore's works "convinced" him to make a writing career in India.
"I do owe a lot to Kolkata and to Bengali literature because when I was a boy and when I was stranded in an island between England and France for three years, with great difficulty I caught hold of collected plays and poems of Rabindranath Tagore," Bond said at the inaugural session of the Tata Steel Kolkata Literary Meet at the Victoria Memorial Hall grounds.
"I read them one by one, 'The Post Office', 'Red Oleanders', etc., and they all brought me to India, and in a way convinced me that I had to come back and make my writing career here itself and that's why I am here today," the 80-year-old Padma Bhushan recipient said.
Looking at the crowd that comprised primarily children who had gathered at the sprawling venue to hear him speak, Bond said: "Literature is far from dead."
The author of popular stories like "Room on The Roof", "Night Train At Deoli", the Rusty series and others said he realised the importance of nature over the years not just as a writer but as a human being. "Nature is responsible for making me the kind of writer I am. Nature has over the years become of greater importance to me as time goes by. As a boy I rather took nature for granted as most of us do," he said.
Bond also emphasised on conserving nature. "The longer I have lived and the closer I have become to the world of nature, the more I have realised how important it is to me not just as a writer but to all of us as human beings and to people who live in this world and how lucky we are to have these trees around us... the beautiful environment... and it is something that we have to look after for ourselves and for our children," Bond added.