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Author Ruskin Bond was presented with a Lifetime Achievement Award for his outstanding contribution in the field of literature on the opening day of the Times Lit Fest here on Saturday.
In the course of a conversation with writer Paro Anand immediately after receiving the award, he reminded his young readers of climate change.
"Nature has been really kind to me. So I think I can give back to nature by celebrating it. I am not an activist but I can celebrate it in my writings," he said and paused to think.
"For the sake of our children and our grandchildren, we should try and save the planet," he said.
Bond was speaking to a packed house, comprising mostly of school children and the elderly, at the India Habitat Centre.
"I am not a pessimist so I will not say that life will end in 50 years but I am an optimist, so I will say that life may end in 150 years," said an emotional Bond, whose writings reflect his close proximity to nature.
"It has always been my observation that I have written better when I am in the lap of nature. People have been my stories, animals have been my stories and when I run out of people and animals, I make stories out of ghosts. But there is an element of nature all through".
He further advised his young readers to become "one's own best friend" and read as many books as possible.
"Reading books has sustained me right from a young boy to this age. It has always made me feel that life is beautiful," he added.
Ruskin Bond also responded to questions from young readers and shared his answers on diverse issues, ranging from the current state of children's literature in the country to the number of times he has fallen in love at first sight, second sight or in hindsight, for that matter.