Khushwant Singh: A Tribute: Few interesting facts to know

Khushwant Singh

15 August 1915 – 20 March 2014

Khushwant Singh is one of the most celebrated author of subcontinent.  His sensitive, courageous and frank writing has touched so many hearts; yet he himself was an amazing personality. People who met with him ever, remembered her forever. We are providing here few interesting facts about this legendary and loved writer:

Khushwant Singh born in Hadali, Khushab in Punjab Province. (now in Pakistan) and later moved to India during partition.

Khushwant Singh’s final posthumous journey to his beloved birthplace Hadali, Pakistan. DESIGN: SAMRA AAMIR

Pic: Express Tribune

Khushwant also practiced in Lahore High Court and later moved to Delhi during partition. His house in Delhi was an apartment in Sujan Singh Park. It is first apartment complex that was built by his father Sobha Singh in the year 1945 and named upon Khushwant’s grandfather Sujan Singh.

City Neighborhood - Sujan Singh Park, Central Delhi

Pic source: http://www.thedelhiwalla.com/2014/03/17/city-neighborhood-sujan-singh-park-central-delhi/ 

His punctuality for time was well known. He always felt happy meeting people, but only with prior appointment. His door bell was famous for the reason you can see in door bell pic.

City Neighborhood - Sujan Singh Park, Central Delhi

Pic Source: http://www.thedelhiwalla.com/2014/03/17/city-neighborhood-sujan-singh-park-central-delhi/ 

He did not join Foreign Service job for his passion of writing. Khushwant has served in All India Radio and later as founder-editor of Yojna. Later he also served in Illustrated Weekly, Hindustan Times and National Herald.

Pic source: Wikipedia Commons 

Once during his talk with Asim Awan who was a Pakistan and met with Khushwant during his India travel : He said he had been to Pakistan many times that he could not recount them all adding  “Whenever I planned a trip to Pakistan my mother would say don’t go there… these Muslims are very cruel… they will kill you and I would reply Mother, until now they have been killing me by feeding me very delicious meals and lots of Scotch! But in the same breath she would say please give my salaams to sister Asghari, do go to the house of so and so and give them my regards and don’t forget to take some gifts for them.” (Source: Express Tribune )

Pic: Express Tribune (https://tribune.com.pk/story/720360/khushwant-singh-the-final-homecoming/ )

He has been Member of Parliament (Upper House)in India during 1980 to 1986.

His famous novel ‘Train to Pakistan’ (written in 1956) was based upon his own experiences during partition 1947.

Train to Pakistan : Anniversary Edition

Khushwant Singh has written many books. Few are listed here:

  • The Mark of Vishnu and Other Stories, (Short Story) 1950
  • The History of Sikhs, 1953
  • Train to Pakistan, (Novel) 1956
  • The Voice of God and Other Stories, (Short Story) 1957
  • I Shall Not Hear the Nightingale, (Novel) 1959
  • The Sikhs Today, 1959
  • The Fall of the Kingdom of the Punjab, 1962
  • A History of the Sikhs, 1963
  • Ranjit Singh: The Maharaja of the Punjab, 1963
  • Ghadar 1915: India’s first armed revolution, 1966
  • A History of the Sikhs, 1966 (2nd edition)
  • A Bride for the Sahib and Other Stories, (Short Story) 1967
  • Black Jasmine, (Short Story) 1971
  • Tragedy of Punjab, 1984
  • The Collected Stories of Khushwant Singh, N.p., Ravi Dayal Publisher, 1989
  • Delhi: A Novel, (Novel) 1990
  • Not a Nice Man to Know: The Best of Khushwant Singh, 1993
  • We Indians, 1993
  • Women and Men in My Life, 1995
  • Declaring Love in Four Languages,by Khushwant Singh and Sharda Kaushik, 1997
  • India: An Introduction,by Khushwant Singh
  • The Company of Women, (Novel) 1999
  • Truth, Love and a Little Malice(an autobiography), 2002
  • With Malice towards One and All
  • The End of India, 2003
  • Burial at the Sea, 2004
  • Paradise and Other Stories, 2004
  • A History of the Sikhs: 1469–1838, 2004
  • Death at My Doorstep, 2005
  • A History of the Sikhs: 1839–2004, 2005
  • The Illustrated History of the Sikhs, 2006
  • Why I Supported the Emergency: Essays and Profiles, 2009
  • The Sunset Club, (Novel) 2010
  • Gods and Godmen of India, 2012 ISBN 978-9-350-29244-0
  • Agnostic Khushwant: There is no God, 2012 ISBN 978-9-381-43111-5
  • The Good, the Bad and the Ridiculous, 2013 (Co-authored with Humra Qureshi)
  • More Malicious Gossip1989 – Collection of Writings
  • Sex, Scotch & Scholarship,1992 Collection of Writings
  • Big Book of Malice,2000, Collection of Writings
  • Khushwantnama, The Lessons Of My Life,2013
  • The Freethinker’s Prayer Book and Some Words To Live By,2012

Khushwant left this world at the age of 99 on 20 March 2014. He was cremated at Lodhi Crematorium.

Pic Source: https://www.outlookindia.com/blog/story/khushwant-singh-tributes-on-twitter/3205

During his lifetime, Khushwant Singh was keen on burial because he believed that with a burial we give back to the earth what we have taken. He had requested the management of the Bahá’í Faith if he could be buried in their cemetery. After initial agreement, they had proposed some conditions which were unacceptable to Singh, and hence the idea was later abandoned.He was born in Hadali, Khushab District in the Punjab Province of modern Pakistan, in 1915. According to his wishes, some of his ashes were brought and scattered in Hadali. One may see the memorial plate in Hdali:

Pic source: Express Tribune (https://tribune.com.pk/story/720360/khushwant-singh-the-final-homecoming/

He also prepared an epitaph for himself, which runs:

Here lies one who spared neither man nor God;

Waste not your tears on him, he was a sod;

Writing nasty things he regarded as great fun;

Thank the Lord he is dead, this son of a gun

Pic source : https://www.inmemoryglobal.com/remembrance/2015/03/khushwant-singh/  

A famous quote from ‘Train to Pakistan’

“Not forever does the bulbul sing

In balmy shades of bowers,

Not forever lasts the spring

Nor ever blossom the flowers.

Not forever reigneth joy,

Sets the sun on days of bliss,

Friendships not forever last,

They know not life, who know not this.”

— Train to Pakistan

 

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About aaghazedosti

Aaghaz-e-Dosti is an Indo-Pak Friendship Initiative of Mission Bhartiyam (India) and Hum Sab Aik Hain (Pakistan)

Posted on March 20, 2018, in Articles. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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