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Salman could win Oscar as Mr Ripley-Bean: Ruskin Bond at Kolkata literary meet

Protagonist Miss Ripley-Bean happens to be at the centre of all adventure in Bond's latest offering, Death Under the Deodars.

Photo: Shutterbugs Images


Author Ruskin Bond on Thursday admitted that Bollywood director Vishal Bharadwaj's reel adaptation of Susanna's Seven Husbands in 7 Khoon Maaf wasn't always to his liking. The Priyanka Chopra-starrer released in 2011.

"We did talk about it when Vishal Bharadwaj made the Blue Umbrella. In the other story Susanna's Seven Husbands, I actually helped with the script and that changed considerably, not always to my liking," Bond, 82, told a packed audience at the Tata Steel Kolkata Literary Meet here.

Bhardwaj is an ardent admirer of Bond to such an extent that the Haider director bought a cottage beside Bond's in Mussoorie, Uttarakhand.

"Fortunately Vishal Bharadwaj now has a cottage next to mine in Mussoorie. So when he is up in town, I throw stones on his roof and if he is not being helpful when making films (from Bond's books) the stones get bigger," Bond said, sending the crowd into a fit of laughter.

Besides 7 Khoon Maaf, Bharadwaj has made a film based on Bond's novel The Blue Umbrella.

Bharadwaj had also acquired a couple of more stories from him, including Mr. Oliver's Diary, which revolves around a school teacher.

"There was A Flight of Pigeons which Shyam Benegal filmed as Junoon and was very true to the story. So I have been lucky in a way. But sometimes a film can have too many changes. You can be disappointed at times in what finally comes on screen," Bond continued.

Talking about his latest offering — Death Under the Deodars, where his protagonist Miss Ripley-Bean happens to be at the centre of all adventure, Bond said Bollywood superstar Salman Khan could "win an oscar" by playing Ripley-Bean on screen.

"For Ripley-Bean you have to find a seventy-year-old lady unless well-known actors go into drag. You could have Salman Khan playing Miss Ripley-Bean, I don't know. He could get an Oscar for it I'm sure," he said.

Talking about blurring the lines between adult reading and children's books, he said: "As a boy I went quickly into adult books. It is hard to decide what's suitable."