Month: March 2014

I decided to die just for fun

khushwant singh

We do not talk of death lightly — it is regarded as tasteless, ill-mannered and depressing. This is the wrong way to look upon an essential fact of life which makes no exceptions: It comes to kings as well as beggars, to the rich and the poor, to saints as well as sinners, the aged and the young. You simply cannot turn a blind eye to it and fool yourself into believing that death comes to other people but will spare you. I am now over 90 years old and am aware that the hour of my tryst with destiny is drawing near. I have given a lot of thought…

Karma

Sir Mohan Lal looked at himself in the mirror of a first class waiting room at the railway station. The mirror was obviously made in India. The red oxide at its back had come off at several places and long…

The Bottom-Pincher

I am not a bottom-pincher, but I would like to be one. Like some people are granted freedom of a city, I would like to be granted freedom to pinch female citizens’ bottoms. Pinching is not the right word. If…

The Princes of Kahin Nahi

I looked forward to her visits because she had nothing nice to say about anyone. Since I was inclined the same way, in the hour or so she stayed and had her evening quota of Scotch we trashed the reputations…

Khushwant Singh, My Mentor

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Khushwant Singh, my mentor of literary translations, lived life of honor and dignity. He had started his career as a lawyer, but left is as to him it is a profession of making money by cheating clients saying that “a…

Khushwant wanted Sikhs to retain identity

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Noted writer and journalist Khushwant Singh, who passed away at 99 on Thursday, believed Sikh leadership should discuss and ponder over the fact that majority of them had discarded symbols of Sikh identity such as turban, long hair and beard.…

Until Dacca Became Dhaka…

dacca

There was a sleepy little town named Dacca (that was how it used to be spelt) once upon a time. The roads were narrow, with rows of date palms and mango trees on either side of them. Homes had exquisite…

They want to believe!

aeroplane

The Wright brothers Some believe the Wright brothers did not in fact build the world’s first successful aeroplane. German-born Gustav Whitehead should get the credit, they say, as evidence suggests he took to the sky two years earlier. They add…

Into Thin Air

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Never Malaysia Airlines? Never a Boeing 777? Are these things going through your mind while you read or watch TV news on flight MH370 going missing somewhere around Malaysia last Saturday? And, could you be blamed for thinking like that?…

The Thugs of India

thuggee

Lieutenant Subhani of the Bengal Native Infantry and his three traveling companions were nearing the final leg of their journey. Ordinarily the Lieutenant would have only his pair of loyal orderlies to keep him company as he traveled, but today a third man walked alongside his horse — a stranger who had joined him only that morning…