K H U S H W A N T  S I N G H
1915 — 2014

Khushwant SinghTribune Saga
Sunday, March 25, 2012
MY first look at The Tribune was in 1932 when I joined Government College in Lahore. Since then, it has continued spasmodically, depending on where I happened to be living. It has been my breakfast for news of the world, mostly of India and the Punjab.

Centenary of Lutyens’ Delhi
Saturday, December 24, 2011
It is likely that New Delhi may raise a monument to honour its builders as part of its centenary celebrations. The decision to shift the Capital from Calcutta to Delhi was taken in 1911 and announced by King George V when he and his royal consort Queen Mary held the Royal Darbar. It was assumed that the new capital would be built on the same site — Kingsway Camp.

Literary star on the horizon
Saturday, May 9, 2009
I have not come across a work of fiction that told the story of Indian Punjab from its blood-soaked birth in 1947 to the present times till I chanced upon Manreet Sodhi Someshwar’s The Long Walk Home (Harper Collins). It is, in fact, a saga of one Sikh family uprooted from Lahore and settled in the border town of Ferozepore along the dividing lines of the Sutlej.


Meat of the matter
Saturday, August 9, 2008
SOME weeks ago I wrote about vegetarianism in this column. I expressed my aversion against depriving a creature of its life only because its flesh tasted nice. But I also wrote that vegetarianism was against the order of nature because just about every living being, besides ruminants, lived off eating another, including its own kind. As I expected I was hauled over the coals by shakaharis with missionary zeal common to them.

Low spirits in the winter of life
Saturday, April 12, 2008
There are times when my spirits are very low. Nothing I eat or drink tastes good; no company cheers me up—not even that of pretty girls who flock around me as I have got too old to respond to their flirting with me. One such dreary evening I happened to come across a couplet of my favourite poet Asadullah Khan Ghalib written at a time when he must have been in the same mood as I.

Memories that haunt
Saturday, December 15, 2007
As soon as Jyoti Grewal’s Betrayed by the State: The Anti-Sikh pogrom of 1984 (Penguin) landed on my table, I put aside other work and got down to reading it. The author has impressive scholarly credentials. She has a doctorate in history from an American University (Stony Brook), was professor at another (Iowa) and is currently teaching Social Behaviourial Sciences in Dubai. The subject is of importance to me.

Astrological falsehoods
Saturday, September 20, 2003
SOME weeks ago one of our leading national dailies carried the findings of a group of scientists who examined the claims made by astrologers about their ability to forecast future events. They scrutinised thousands of biodatas of people born on the same day to find out whether or not they shared same traits in common and whether people born under the same zodiacal signs — Leo, Virgo, Scorpio, etc. had similar temperaments as claimed by astrologers.

How to handle compulsive talkers
Saturday, June 8, 2002
NE thing I look forward to in these infernally hot and dusty days is to escape to the club bathing pool and stay in the water for one hour to cool off for the evening. One thing which often deters me from doing so is the presence of a retired Colonel. No sooner do I enter the changing room, he starts talking to me. I have to extricate myself to take a shower. He follows me into the pool and continues talking.

Travelling in a women’s compartment
Saturday, March 2, 2002
ARTHIKA of Penguin-Viking dropped in with a friend she introduced as Anita Nair. "Are you a film producer?" I asked. "No," replied Anita, "I am a writer." "What books have you written?" Karthika intervened, "We published two of her novels — The Better Man and Ladies Coupe. I sent you both but you did not take notice of either."

Vajpayee, the poet
Saturday, January 12, 2002
have a soft corner for Atal Behari Vajpayee. Despite his RSS roots and continuing association with the Sangh Parivar, I think he is a good, if not a better Prime Minister than any we have had. He is a warm human being. I am not so sure of his stature as a poet. Some years ago he read out a poem he had written on his birthday following the destruction of the Babri Masjid.



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