Bond pens tale of indescribable Maharani
"I have known Maharani personally for years. She has an extravagant personality who loves to dominate any kind of proceedings. On one hand I found her difficult to handle and on the other hand I found it hard not to like her," Bond told PTI in an interview.
"After brainstorming over adjectives like `wicked` and `naughty` for her, I thought it was better to leave it to the readers to decide what actually she can be called. So I kept the title just `Maharani`," he said.
Ruskin Bond, who is known for his sense of humour says that the novel is different form his previous bestsellers in its own way. "Now that I have grown old my writing has also witnessed that change. Unlike my previous novels which were more on a romantic and cynical side, in Maharani the humour has got a sharper edge to it. So I believe I have become a little mature!" said Bond.
Set in the hills, full of humour, a dash of supernatural elements, seductive maharanis and a different story of Jim Corbett, `Maharani` published by Penguin Books is a tale of H.H. who is the spoilt, selfish, beautiful widow of the Maharajah of Mastipur.
She lives with her dogs and her caretaker, Hans, in an enormous old house in Mussorie, taking lovers and discarding them, drinking too much, and fending off her reckless sons who are waiting hungrily for their inheritance. The seasons come and go, hotels burns down, cinemas shut shop, and people leave the hill station never to return. But H.H. remains constant and indomitable.
Observing her antics, often with disapproval, is her old friend Ruskin, who can never quite cut himself off from her. Bond says that the story of Maharani involves him too. "As I have told the story of Maharani with me in the background. So its kind of my story too which unfolds as Maharani`s story progresses over the years," he says. However, he refused to call it completely a true tale or a complete fabrication.
"For almost all the fictitious writers their characters are somewhat based on real life character only. But I combine two or three characters in my creative capacity to come up with one character and the same applies to Maharani too," he says.
The veteran storyteller believes that over the years his love has not changed for short stories. "I am a story teller first and a writer thereafter. Though the era of telling stories has long gone yet I will continue to do so. Creating a character and building a scene with twists and turns is something I can`t resist while writing" says Bond. Bond who is presently working on two children books and a memoir likely to be published in another three months.