KHUSHWANT SINGH, India's iconic journalist and writer, whose works secured largest readership in the country, remains an enigma beyond his writings. His immense popularity and connectivity with his readers made him the common man's idol but his real persona remained in wraps. The 'dirty old man' ensconced in a bulb with a wicked grin and a fountain pen in hand was a far cry in real life.
This collection of interviews and articles attempts to bring to light the real Khushwant as his family and close friends knew him.
A man who was constantly surrounded by beautiful women but remained faithfully wedded to his wife Kaval for 62 years till she passed away, a man who wrote about wine, women and sex, but lived a life more simple and austere than a commoner, a man who was more disciplined in his fitness regime than men even half his age, a person who wrote more books, articles and columns than any other journalist or writer in this country, and in a language, so simple that the common reader could comprehend.
Little do his readers know that the man famous for his jokes, his love for wine and women and his fierce agnosticism, was a great scholar in real life who wrote classics like A History of the Sikhs, taught comparative religion at Princeton University, was a passionate nature lover who wrote books like Nature Watch, was an art critic and had dabbled in sitar and painting at Shantiniketan in his youth.
Khushwant Singh voiced his opinions openly and spoke his mind fearlessly through his column's for which he was honoured in 1998, with 'Honest Man of the Year Award and later in 2007 with Padma Vibhushan award.
He remained reticent about his personal life while he lived. It is about time his loyal fans knew who the real Khushwant was.