M A I N   N E W S

Khushwant gets honorary PU degree
Charu Singh/TNS

New Delhi, May 6
The grand old Indian writer of the century, Khushwant Singh, who happens to be in his 97th year received his fourth honorary degree, a doctorate of literature from Panjab University, Chandigarh, at a discreetly arranged programme at his residence in the capital. A laughing Khushwant said, “this is my fourth honorary degree and when I was at school I could have never imagined I would get such a collection of degrees.”

A more somber Khushwant said, “I consider myself in the vanaprastha or the fourth stage in my life and the rest of my life I want to spend quietly in my home. My concept of vanaprastha is being alone and spending this time in quiet introspection and contentment. I arise before dawn and spend time in writing and translating.”

He said: “I am no longer planning another book, “The Sunset Club”, was my last book. Now, I like to spend my time doing nothing and being alone with myself, I feel what time I have left is for this.”

Khushwant further adds: “I am not a religious man, I am agnostic, but I do the Gayatri Mantra every morning and I have in the past undertaken translations of Gurbani. I enjoy translation work and continue to do it, at present I translate whatever catches my interest from Urdu to English etc. Last year, I translated an Urdu poem and it took me an year to work on it and at present this work of mine has become popular in Pakistan.”

Khushwant sits on a comfortable arm chair as he holds court in his customary navy blue salwar qurta, his low pitched gravelly laughter immediately puts one at ease as the aged writer in excellent condition points at an almira and says with a contented smile, “all the books in that closet are written by me.”

Khushwant received his Doctorate of Literature degree from Panjab University in his colonial apartment in the Sujan Singh Park and while laughing adds: “I am at a stage in my life in which people in the ancient times became forest dwellers. I need silence now, and it is this aloneness which is precious to me.”

Khushwant is in many ways a contradiction, an avowed agnostic who says the Gayatri Mantra and has translated the Gurbani. 





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