28 January, 2021

Awry Pecking Order

Khushwant's infamous kiss makes Pakis wash dirty linen

Awry Pecking Order

After a rather long meeting with Khushwant Singh a few years ago in his New Delhi apartment, I had returned to write a piece calling this brilliant writer the 'literary exhibitionist'of India. Newsline editor Rehana Hakim and television producer Mehreen Jabbar had accompanied me to the Old Sardar's house and we had unknowingly walked through the rear entrance, actually the kitchen, without an appointment. 'If you were not Pakistani journalists, I would have thrown you out,'Singh had said to three unsuspecting women who knew very little about protocol at the Singh household.

Khushwant was disappointed with the trio for another reason too. When he invited us for drinks the same evening he looked in disbelief when we replied that we were non-alcoholics. At this point 'the lovable rascal'with that famous twinkle in his eye reminded us of those lovely Pakistani Punjabi women who when in Delhi dropped at his flat during the 'happy hour', and drank 'neat' without a batter of their heavy mascaraed eyelashes.

So what is all the fuss about? Pecking and kissing?...



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