Friday, May 14, 2010
Long-Term Single Men: Ruskin Bond
I talked about women who are single for the long haul, so here's a real-world male example. Last week, my friend A. was telling me about an author she really likes, Ruskin Bond. I'd never heard of him, but he's well-known in India, where he and A. are both from. She told me a little about his life, and it seems like he was able to come up with a solution to the "dying alone" thing that's working for him. The fruits of an internet search imply that Bond has been a life-long bachelor, and that his first love was India itself. His admiration for the country, its people, and its natural beauty seem to comprise a large portion of his works. As A. tells it, Bond was living alone when he took in an orphaned boy. Now in his 70's, Bond lives with his adopted son, his son's wife, and their children (I just hope they have a big house). He says in this interview:
I feel humbled by their love. I may have adopted Prem, but they all have adopted me. They have looked after me so well, for so long. They made it possible for me to write. They took care of the worries of keeping a home, all I did was write. My grandchildren are my joy.
I thought it was interesting how the interviewer said "You are a great grandfather now, without having to marry!" as if Bond had found this awesome loophole. And maybe he did. All I know is that when it comes to relationships, we need more "loopholes". If being surrounded by a big family is what you dream of, it turns out that there's more than one way to get there.
This book seems to explain some of Bond's views on sexuality, at least as they appear in his writings:
Hence anyone who approaches Bond with the hope of enjoying boy-meets-girl romance would surely be sorely disappointed. What Bond tries to portray in his various short stories and novels, is neither physical attraction nor platonic relationship, it is the Indian mysticism of love that permeates the entire creation. (pg. 68, "Ruskin Bond of India" by Norah Nivedita Shaw)
Whoa...*bobs head around as if wearing 3-d glasses*