Ruskin Bond’s ‘Whispers in the Dark’

For all those who have trembled through Ruskin Bond’s tales of horror and mystery, here’s another collection of strange and dark stories from the master storyteller. Within these pages you will befriend Jimmy the jinn who has trouble keeping his hands to himself, be witness to the mischief of the Pisaach and Churel who live in the peepul tree, and find yourself in the company of a bloodthirsty ;vampire cat, among other tales and curiosities that are guaranteed to send a delicious shiver down your spine!
Written in Bond’s inimitable style and riveting to the core, this beautifully illustrated book is a must-have for anyone with a taste for the macabre.

Born in Kasauli in 1934, Ruskin Bond grew up in Jamnagar, Dehradun, New Delhi and Shimla. His first novel, The Room on the Roof, written when he was seventeen, received the John Llewellyn Rhys Memorial Prize in 1957. Since then he has written over five hundred short stories, essays and novellas (some included in the collections Dust on the Mountains and Classic Ruskin Bond) and more than forty books for children. He received the Sahitya Akademi Award for English writing in India in 1993, the Padma Shri in 1999, and the Delhi government’s Lifetime Achievement Award in 2012. He was awarded the Sahitya Akademi’s Bal Sahitya Puraskar for his ‘total contribution to children’s literature’ in 2013 and was honoured with the Padma Bhushan in 2014. He lives in Landour, Mussoorie, with his extended family. He has regaled generations of readers for decades.

Four Poems: Christopher Barnes


Poem I:

A Tickling Divorce



For Partials (Seal & Protect)

As A Partial Denture Wearer

You Want To Help Protect

Your Remaining Natural Teeth

By Following A Good Oral Care Routine

Every Day.

Using Polygrip For Partials Can Help.


Back-jumped at the elbow-room

Of having the bolt-hole to herself.


“Most will attempt to raise several broods

     Each year”


Finger-wagging…window shopping the calendar’s

Do-nothing blanks.


     “Provided climate conditions allow”

 It’s explicit she’s free as air.

“The breeding season of these birds”

 Mrs. Lother pouts, grins;

The mail packet’s chirruped to the kerb

And the postman also smiles.


By Christopher Barnes, UK

QUOTES: Gene Planker


Poem II:

Sand Fly Bites


Mr. Newberry bleats

Uncoupling eyelids,

On a Tasmanian Devil print bed-slip.


     “The foreigner and the citizen”


A Francis Ford Coppola moon’s PVC framed.


“Migration with a long history of control”


Whirling in Polygresis lamp

Smacks of background – no riddance tonight.


     “Restrictions and punishments previously imposed”


Besides, these small hours tiptoe. Bloat.



Home Baking

Lemon Juice

Made With Pure Lemon Juice

From Concentrate,

Perfect For Pancakes



By Christopher Barnes, UK

QUOTES: Centre On Migration, Policy & Society


Poem III:



Entanglements for Iris, footed all overstepping,

Defaulting to baiting postures.


“In the longer term alcohol is a depressant”


The Credulous Fool plunged into mist-yellow,

A wall of beating time. Twinkling fizz.


“In recent years

     There has been a discernable growth

     In ‘binge drinking”


Clumped on decking, mismarried John was huffed

At how uncannily her eyes

Free-willed from his to hers.



 Boots Pharmaceuticals – Wound Dressings Are Highly Absorbent

And They Have A Low Adherent Surface

Which Means They Do Not Stick To Your Wounds.



  1. Gently Clean The Wound
  2. Apply The Dressing To The Wound.
  3. Secure The Dressing In Place With A Dressing Tape Or Bandage.
  4. Apply Fresh Dressing As Required


By Christopher Barnes, UK

QUOTES: Birmingham City Council


Poem IV:

Grey Days Respite


Cliff Boxer’s dandruff was shoulder-to-shoulder.


“Individuals who tend to disregard and violate

     The rights of others”


Hedge-hop neighbours made wrong-footed dins,

Plonking hands, shedding tools

As fight-spoiling quick-changed to spats.


     “An enduring pattern of experience”


His whys nor wherefores were unflinching

And the embodiment of his better half

Flummoxed the jury.


“Egregious, harmful, or dangerous behaviour”




Coast & Country Holidays

Cottage Or Hotel Breaks In Rural Durham

Northumberland And Durham


Blue Beach Hotel – Amble

Flate Park Hotel – Co. Durham


By Christopher Barnes, UK

QUOTES: Psychology Today

The Literary Jewels – Vol. III, Issue 2

THE LITERARY JEWELS                                                                     





From the Editor’s Desk

‘Human Rights’ ~Amritbir Kaur

Feature-Cover Story

‘Human Rights? What’s that?’ ~A.K.

Literary Culture

#Telling a Tale

‘Bosley Builds a Tree House’ ~ Tim Johnson

#Poetic Musings

Four Poems ~Christopher Barnes

Book Review

‘The Journey of the Indian Novel’ ~Dr. Vijay Kumar Roy


Harpreet Singh Makkar ~Amritbir Kaur



The Literary Jewels: VOL.II, ISSUE 4 & VOL. III, ISSUE 1

THE LITERARY JEWELS                                                                     





From the Editor’s Desk

‘’ ~Amritbir Kaur


Cover Story

‘Death as an Inception’ ~ Soumya Chatterjee


Literary Culture

#Telling a Tale

‘Monkey Matters’ ~ Chris Mooney-Singh


#Poetic Musings

‘Being Human’ ~Avinash Dev

‘Detachment’ ~Avinash Dev

‘Masks People Wear’ ~Divyakshi



Student Speaks


Youth Outreach – JLF2014

Jaipur Literature Festival, the world’s largest free literary festival,
goes one step further in its outreach this year, by taking writers from the Festival to visit local schools in Jaipur.

The third edition of Pratham Books – ZEE-JLF Outreach Programme has been organised in partnership with Pratham Books, a not-for-profit children’s publisher, with an aim to inspire young people and inculcate a love
for literature through a series of events taking place between 13th – 21st January 2014.

The authors confirmed to take part in this outreach, are – Paro Anand (Author of children’s books), Valentina Trivedi (Storyteller), Anita Mani (Storyteller/Editor of ‘news-for-children’), Ajit Narayan (Illustrator/cartoonist), Devyani Bhardwaj (Poet/journalist/translator). Visiting Festival authors include Peter Godwin, journalist and
author of When the Crocodile Eats the Sun, Dr. Maya Jasanoff, Harvard history professor and author of the award-winning Liberty Exiles, Mahesh Dattani, actor, writer and director along with art historian Partha Mitter
who specialises in Indian art.

Besides the local schools supported by Pratham and Vodafone, the list of participating schools also includes SKIT, The Step by Step and St. Xavier.

During the outreach programme, visiting Festival authors will participate in over 25 reading sessions, workshops and interactive activities promoting the joy of reading books amongst young students in Jaipur.