More than 100 book titles (I have lost count) to his name still he always said “I have no great opinion of myself as a writer“. Mr. Singh was a member of Rajya Sabha from 1980 through 1986. Awarded the Padma Bhushan but he returned the award in protest against the siege of the golden temple. In 2007 Indian govt awrded him Padma Vibhushan. Self proclaimed “dirty old man of Indian journalism“. I could easily say Indian Journalism has lost its most vibrant personality.
As the name suggests, “Khushwant” means jolly. He was a jolly and lucky fellow. He was an atheist, A sikh who never visited Gurudwara but he believed in sharing good things in life. He was probably the most influential writer in my life. His books cater the tastes of those who like to read spicy hot stuff like they relish ‘chat’ on the crowded road sides. I owe a debt of gratitude to him for bringing smile on my face during my poisoned mood. I am yet to read his works but his classics “Train to Pakistan“, “Company of women“, “Burial at sea” are my all time favorite and have no words for “Delhi: a Novel”.
He even has his epitaph ready;
Here lies one who spared neither man nor God,
Waste not your tears on him, he was sod,
Writing nasty things he regarded as great fun,
Thank the Lord he is dead, this son of a gun.
I am going to miss him so much. I wish he could write from ——the other side.