Ruskin Bond's first novel, The Room on the Roof, written when he was seventeen, received the John Llewellyn Rhys Memorial Prize in 1957. Since then he has written a number of novellas, essays, poems and children's books, many of which have been published by Penguin. He has also written over 500 short stories and articles that have appeared in magazines and anthologies. He received the Sahitya Akademi Award in 1992, the Padma Shri in 1999 and the Padma Bhushan in 2014. Ruskin Bond was born in Kasauli, Himachal Pradesh, and grew up in Jamnagar, Dehradun, New Delhi and Shimla. As a young man, he spent four years in the Channel Islands and London. He returned to India in 1955. He now lives in Landour, Mussoorie, with his adopted family.
The residents of Pipalnagar, a dull and dusty small town, hope to one day leave behind their humdrum lives for the thrills of Delhi. Deep Chand, the barber, dreams of giving the prime minister a haircut; Pitamber wishes to ride an autorickshaw instead of pulling a cycle-rickshaw; and Aziz will be happy with a junk-shop in Chandni Chowk. Sharing their dreams of escape is the narrator Arun, a struggling detective fiction writer. As he waits for inspiration to write a blockbuster, he seeks and discovers love in unusual places-with the young prostitute Kamla, wise beyond her years, and the orphan and epileptic Suraj, surprisingly optimistic despite his difficult circumstances. In Delhi Is Not Far, one of his most enduring novels, Ruskin Bond sketches a moving portrait of small-town India with characteristic sympathy and quiet wisdom.