Khushwant Singh - A Tribute

This is a re-posting of one I had written about him, around 2 years ago, after reading his book on happiness. He passed away at age 99 yesterday.

Khushwant Singh, one of India's most entertaining writers, has written about almost everything in his long years as a journalist, editor, column writer (with Malice Towards All) etc. His light bulb logo was designed by Mario Miranda, the famous cartoonist. The Illustrated Weekly was very lively in his days as the editor. I respect him because he made a living from writing- a tough thing to do.

His take on happiness (or what I remember of it) is somewhat like this-

Earn enough to help yourself. Mendicants may or may not be happy.

Learn to live in solitude. Not in the Himalayas necessarily, but have significant time for yourself.

Make use of the time you have. Mostly, we spend a lot of time cribbing about (the time and much else) we don't have.

Don't waste time on parties and celebrities (and IPL- which might be fixed anyway).

Reduce the irritants in life-we may have lots of them, like unwanted phone calls, credit cards, visits from people who have nothing positive to share or teach us, infinitum.

Following from the above, indulge in things you like to do, so that you get better at them. And naturally enjoy life.

I would add- play a sport (preferably golf, but anything is Ok), play with children. Listen to music. 


Diamond Head said…
One who wrote his own epitaph before he died apparently went -

"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."
Rajendra said…
good one and a good idea- I must start thinking of one. Try this, maybe..

Here lies a guy who thought he knew a lot. But little did he know the laughter he caused, due to that thought.
Diamond Head said…
Although I must say I had an issue with factual inconsistency - in that he told a lie when he said Lies. Wasn't he cremated?
Rajendra said…
His epitaph indicates he wouldn't mind being called a liar- as long as there was no malice.

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