Children are losing their innocence today: Ruskin Bond ( Interview)
Kolkata, Jan 26 : A wordsmith who has always celebrated love, author Ruskin Bond says he cringes at times seeing the "crudity" with which women are written or spoken about now, also stressing that children today have lost their innocence.
Hot on the heels of young cricketers, who are treated as icons by children in the Indian households, Hardik Pandya and Lokesh Rahul bandying about sexist remarks in a television show and making all the wrong noises for that, Bond said he is aware that the general tone when talking about women has gone hoarse.
"Children are losing their innocence or have already lost it because of the climate they are exposed to," Bond, 84, told IANS in an interview on the sidelines of the TATA Steel Kolkata Literary Meet.
"The books they read sometimes maybe talk of love and love making in a bold manner which might border on crudity," he said.
"You see 12-year olds watching hard porn on the streets and that was unthinkable during our time. We did not have easy access to so many things during our day.
"So I think too much exposure to a lot of things early on and not seeing or reading the right kinds of things has lead to this," said the creator of "The Room on the Roof" (1956), "Our Trees Still Grow in Dehra" (1992), "The Blue Umbrella" (1974) and "A Flight of Pigeons" (2003).
Bond also chose to speak specifically on the Pandya-Rahul issue, underlining that they should think twice before going to such talk shows and that they should be given a second chance.
"I think they did make a mistake and such talk shows should be avoided as I feel it is also responsible for the way they behaved. They got carried away. Anyway, I read what all is going on and I feel we should not be too hard on them."
Bond, whose supernatural stories have been made into a web series, said it is a way to stay relevant in today's times, adding that ghosts are not out to scare or harm people all the time and it's a "safe fear" that people like to indulge in.
"You can think of it that way (web series helps in staying relevant). It might help because in any case, those people, people who read, young people, many of them do enjoy reading ghost stories and tales of the supernatural as I did when I was a boy.
"And, of course, it's only a part of my writing output, but I enjoy doing the ghost story or spooky story and particularly when I run out of other ideas because I can cook them up quite easily.
"Especially your hill stations are reputed to be full of them," said Bond who lives in Landour, Mussoorie, with his adopted family.
The first episode of "Parchayee: Ghost Stories by Ruskin Bond" premiered earlier this month and the subsequent parts will unfold till June.
(Debayan Mukherjee can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)