I don’t read fiction. Hence I have never read a single work of Khushwant Singh which actually made him popular (his novels). But I still remain a fan of his writings for a few reasons:
- He wrote for the sake of writing (passion)
- He wrote from his heart (truth)
- He believed and took responsibility for his actions (responsibility)
- He stood for whatever he believed in much against what society felt he must be (conviction)
- He kept working, writing to almost the end of his life (calling)
Since I teach entrepreneurship, I constantly keep getting questioned if it relates to only starting enterprises. Over the last few years of constantly trying to find better answers to the same question, I believe today that entrepreneurship is all about ‘being entrepreneurial’. Because of this understanding my belief is that people can practice entrepreneurship in every facet of life.
Today as the world mourns the death of Khushwant Singh, author and journalist, who passed away at the age of 99, I think his is a life of entrepreneurial thinking in practice. I managed to read a few of his non-fiction works in recent times. His writing was inspiring for me as a young writer and author. His works and experiences were inspiring as a person wanting to do what I love in my life.
As I advice entrepreneurs I always point them to people who have lived their lives fully. One such life is that of Khushwant Singh. Not that his life is without controversy or questionable acts, not that his life was without joys and sorrows – but in and through all of these that most people go through in life, he continued to live his calling – to write! Every entrepreneur must learn from such examples – irrespective of whether people accept and acknowledge your work; whether you see rewards and appreciation, the most important thing in life is to live what our calling is. To do this without expectations of rewards, recognition and returns, is what makes a life lived well.
I don’t have access to this man, just like I didn’t have access to Steve Jobs and Peter Drucker and JRD Tata. But it is through their works that I gained access to their decisions and their lives. They remain inspirations and today as India loses a great writer, I wish to acknowledge that he is one to be read, reflected and remembered for inspiration.
Alvida Mr Khushwant Singh – you truly inspired a few (quite a few) of us along the way!