Ruskin Bond had his first short story published when he had just left school. Two years later, his first novel, The Room on the Roof, was accepted by a London publisher. On the ship that brought him home to India he met a twelve-year-old girl called Koki, who shared her chocolates with him, having heard that he did not have money for chocolates. He did not see Koki again, but she turns up in his stories from time to time. She doesn’t grow old. She is twelve-year-old Koki forever. And if you live close to nature, to flowers, trees, birds and mountain streams, you will remain young, like Koki and Somi. “Over the years, I have written hundreds of stories. And whenever I write a story about children and the creatures of the forest, the years slip away and I am a boy again,” says Ruskin Bond.
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