Posted by Fenil Seta
Sanyukta Iyer (MUMBAI MIRROR; April 15, 2017)
Siddharth, one of the crew members of Aanand L Rai’s upcoming production, Shubh Mangal Savdhan, sprang a surprise when he invited his grandfather to the sets for lunch with the team. His grandfather, none other than award-winning, celebrated author Ruskin Bond turned up at an ancient ashram on the Triveni ghat in Rishikesh where the unit is filming the final schedule of the film.
It was a fangirl moment for leading lady Bhumi Pednekar to see Bond chilling on the sets and chatting with everyone over a home-cooked meal. The 27-year-old actress has grown up on a steady diet of Bond’s books, her favourite being his first novel, The Room on the Roof, which was published when he was 17.
“It was one of the first stories I read and fell in love with the world he had created at the foothills of the Himalayas where he spent his childhood. I went on to read all his books, some in school, others at home. I’ve read The Blue Umbrella many times and smile every time I read about how little Binya gives her new precious blue umbrella to shopkeeper Ram Bharosa. ‘To be able to laugh and be merciful are the only things that make a man better than the beast’ — that’s a Ruskin Bond quote that I cherish. It was an honour meeting someone who filled my childhood with his beautiful words,” Bhumi told Mirror from Rishikesh.
She went on to reveal that Bond had not been to Rishikesh in the last 25-30 years and groused about how the city had changed completely. “I grumbled to Siddharth that had I known my favourite author was going to visit the set, I would have packed all my Ruskin Bond novels for him to autograph or at least bought some more online. Still, it was a beautiful moment and there was a long queue of fans waiting to click pictures with him,” she laughs, adding that the 82-year-old author was overwhelmed by the large unit crowding around him. “I’m sure we freaked him out.”