Locating the Anglo-Indian Self in Ruskin Bond: A Postcolonial Review
Ruskin Bond's life - and, for that matter, his semi-autobiographical works - are allegories of the colonial aftermath. His is an odd but exemplary attempt at absorption as a member of the Anglo-Indian ethnic minority, a community whose role in the shaping of the postcolonial Indian psyche has yet to be systematically analysed. This study explores the dialogue between the biographical and authorial selves of Ruskin Bond, whose subjectivity is informed by the fantasies of space and time.
Bond's experiences of socio-political discrimination underwrite his repressed concerns. He seeks to allay his anxieties through an attempt to signify defiance of the functional agencies of those parameters, which ironically become more active as he attempts a symptomatic mastery of their inductive agencies. Nevertheless, for a nostalgic writer the unconscious - which is shaped by the impressions of the experiences of negotiation between double inheritances - exerts a problematic yet discerning influence on Bond's literary self. This study offers a chronological reading of Bond's texts, seeking to bring out the constant presence of this repressed anxiety and the psychological compulsion to dramatize the Self-Other dynamics as a symptomatic method to acquire a conviction of the self.