Book Review of ABSOLUTE KHUSHWANT by Khushwant Singh with Humra Quraishi

Khushwant Singh is the most widely read author in India, today. With more than ninety books to his credit, Khushwant Singh is best known for his work of fiction, Train to Pakistan, I Shall Not Hear The Nightingale, Delhi, The Company of Women and Burial at Sea. His non-fiction includes the classic two-volume A History of the Sikhs. His autobiography, Truth, Love and a Little Malice, were published in 2002 by Penguin Books. Khushwant Singh, as a columnist and translator (on culture, Delhi, nature, current affairs and Urdu poetry) has achieved a name in the literary work. He has been founder-editor of Yojana, and editor of The Illustrated Weekly of India and The Hindustan Times.

Khushwant Singh, at the age of 95, (he is 97, now) brought out: ABSOLUTE KHUSHWANT– through Penguin Books. The book is to be loved for not its content value and style of writing, alone. The book is a source of inspiration from the grand old man, who believes in what the Quran and Hadith stress on. Khushwant Singh believes that time should never be wasted. Every single moment ought to be used with purpose. And one cannot sit and brood. To quote his exact words, he says, ‘I have never taken anyone too seriously, least of all myself. I often ask myself why I write. I could earn as much, if not more, running a dhaba on a national highway. An old man is entitled to his secrets, fantasies, Scotch, good company. At ninety-five, this is worth taking the pills for. I think of death very often but I don’t lose sleep over it. All that I hope for is that when death comes to me it comes swiftly.’

ABSOLUTE KHUSHWANT is a book which I would pick up. Humra Quraishi is a freelancer reporter and columnist. She lives in Delhi.

Geeta Chhabra

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