Growing up with Khushwant Singh

Khushwant Singh, a one of its kind author who would never mince his words has influenced a whole generation of readers like me who would proudly and luckily claim to have grown up reading what he has written. From a short story – Mark of Vishnu, which was part of our syllabus in school to a regular column in The Tribune – This Above All, to many remarkable books – Train to Pakistan to name just one, Khushwant Singh has not only turned many into avid readers, he has also turned many into worthy writers.

Khushwant Singh on Bournvita Quiz Contest

My first memory of Khushwant Singh could be when he came on the popular quiz show on TV –  Bournvita Quiz Contest and what he said then was a gem of advise – ‘you must read good books and bad books so that you can know the difference.’ I would be lying if I didn’t accept that I have followed that advice and have actually understood the deeper meaning that was in what he said.

Khushwant Singh’s This Above All

Khushwant Singh weekly column This Above All in The Tribune news paper had been one of the most awaited pieces for me in my school days. I was a big fan of The Tribune news paper and his article used to be the icing on the cake. The best part of his feature used to be the kind of randomness or richness (whatever way you put it) of topics he would cover. I would always have a great time reading it. And then every time he would carry a joke sent to him by someone and even that used to be fun.

A world of stories and books by Khushwant Singh

Mark of Vishnu, a short story by Khushwant Singh was just apt for school children and was never lost in the long list of some really amazing stories which were part of our school syllabus. I was impressed by this story. But this was just a beginning. I eventually graduated to reading quite a few other books he wrote, one of the most popular of them being Train to Pakistan.

When I look at all the books he has written – A history of Sikhs, Truth, Love and a Little Malice, and others, I realize I may have read a few but there is a whole lot of them I am yet to put my hands on. But what is also true is that for an author like Khushwant Singh, the credit must be given for not only having written the books that they have written, it has also got a lot to do with the readers and writers they have created. I feel proud and lucky that I have grown up on the writings of authors like Khushwant Singh and I am sure there are thousands if not lakhs like me.