11 April, 2021

Festival Of Lightness

Khushwant’s largeness of heart easily accommodated his few weaknesses

Sanjay Rawat
Festival Of Lightness

Forty years ago, Khushwant Singh cut me off completely. It still hurts when I think of it. He was the editor of The Illustrated Weekly at that time. He was so angry that he sent back to me, without a word, a cover story he had commissioned. It was entirely my fault. I had rev­iewed one of his books for Blitz, a popular tabloid then, and I had written something about him that was not only juvenile but also inaccurate. Blame it on the follies of youth!

He did not talk to me for six months. Fortunately, one Sunday morning, I found myself alone with him on the beach at the governor’s house in Bombay. Those were innocent times, no one worried too much about sec­urity and both of us had easy access to this very privileged place not far from Chowpatty. When he came out of the water, I went over to him and apologised. He promptly invited me over for drinks at his flat in Colaba that very evening.

My connection with Khush­want had begun a few years earlier, when his son and I found ourselves chasing the same girl soon after we returned...

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