17 January, 2021

Spring Of The Patriarch

Don't be fooled by this image of repose. At 92, India's grand old sardar is not retiring yet.

Spring Of The Patriarch

"It's my harvest year," says Khushwant of the Padma Vibhushan and other awards or recognitions he has got this year.
Which other writer would walk into the butcher's and expect to be told, "We read you every week, in the Urdu papers"?
The golden Padma Vibhushan has fast been tucked out of sight. On display is a solid silver loon, given to him by Canadian Punjabis.
Khushwant Singh begins his day by chanting Om. "It's not prayer," he says. "It's really to get my bowels and bladder to work."
He knows how to reach his reader: inform, amuse and provoke. "Indians are easy to shock. They are hidebound in religion."
His visitors include politicians, pundits, publishers and, lately, sightseers. "After Qutub Minar, Jantar Mantar, they want to see me."
Recently, a disciple of Dalai Lama tied a red thread on his wrist, "for peaceful death". "Wish it was for immortality," guffawed Singh.


At 92, India's Dirty Old Man and...



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