Books and Me: Khushwantnama

Title: Khushwantnamabs_1362155262_M_Khuswantnama

Author :  Khuswant Singh

In recent times we hear  constant complaints from people about life and living. Very few truly remain healthy post retirement. Even the one’s who do, have very little to give back, since they feel unfulfilled in some way or the other. All these have reduced the average lifespan of people from what it could actually be. So when somebody who is close to 100 years of age has something to say it is worth listening. Even if you don’t learn something that you will want to imbibe, you will definitely learn a few things that you wouldn’t want to do.

When I saw (about a month or so ago) the pre-order listing on flipkart, display Khushwant Singh’s upcoming book  titled ‘Khushwantnama’, I decided to read what this nonagenarian had to write as the lessons of his life.

I have not read any of Khushwant Singh’s novel or titles that actually made him popular. A chance reading of his non-fiction work led me to believe that here is a man who is being honest with what he has to say about anything that he ends up seeing.  So it was natural for me to wait for this book to be delivered by flipkart. I devoured the book in full, the very next day of receiving it.

Apart from his reflection over his long lived life, he also shares in this book his opinions on subjects such as religion, journalism, politics and society,   His interest for literature and poetry especially Urdu poetry comes out strongly. Galib seems to be his favourite.

Four chapters particularly caught my attention. They are

  1. What it takes to be a writer
  2. Watching nature
  3. Dealing with death
  4. Humor is a lethal weapon

Though I do not fully endorse the views in the chapter titled ’12 tips to live long and be happy’, everyone will find something to take-away from them as tips to increase the chances of leading a healthy life.

His thoughts on Gandhi increased my interest in the Mahatma and hopefully I will take some time off to know more about him and his philosophy of life.  The chapter titled ‘What religion means to me’ was contrarian and interesting. But being a keen student of the advaita philosophy, I beg to differ with some of the points made. However I must agree to his declaration that, truth is the essence of religion!

At 98, Khushwant Singh has delivered yet another honest, entertaining and amusing account. Though he declares this could be his last, I like many others look forward to the next one.

Though the book is a hard-cover, penguin has created a great physical look, making the book readable while keeping it light on the hands.

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