Friday, April 1

Mark the man!

He is none other than Sardar Khushwant Singh, who is probably one individual who is most comfortable in his own skin.

A man in his nineties, but has huge reservoirs of energy, which seem to be never drying up. He is none other than Sardar Khushwant Singh, who has been writing and contributing articles and columns to various newspapers for the last fifty years. Apart from this, he is a prolific writer and continues to write books. His readers must not have forgotten his works to the likes Delhi, Company of Women, Love….and little malice, and now Death at My Doorstep – a collection of obituaries.
Death at My Doorstep is a collection of obituaries-cum-profiles-cum-impressions of the Sardar of those people whom he had met from time-to-time. The narration of those one-on-one meetings is enough to give a true picture of all those famous and lesser known beings. The Sardar is candid and honest at least when he is writing about other people. I believe that he does the same for himself too.
Belonging to a village, now in Pakistan, the Sardar is a metropolitan man, who is truly embedded in his soil. He has a wish to be buried instead of getting cremated according to the Sikh traditions – "to be part of the soil and being useful even after my death."
The last Sunday, I spent the evening and almost into the morning of the next day in reading Death at My Doorstep. It was a wonderful reading session and I enjoyed it thoroughly. Probably, it is natural to me to read about people about whom I have heard a lot and never had a chance to meet up with them. From Zulfikar Ali Bhutto to Faiz Ahmed Faiz, one can have a good glance at the variety whom the Sardar has met. I wish to be in his place.
Through out this book, he seems to raising one important question constantly: How important is it to be compartmentalised in some religious bracket – Hindu, Muslim, Sikh or a Christian? The answer is very simple to him. “Be honest in your ways of life and do some thing good for your fellow human beings.” The rest is fine.
Thank you very much Mr. Singh for giving another gift to your readers!

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