“Please do not ring the bell unless you are expected”

The title of this post is a sign next to the apartment door of Khushwant Singh in New Delhi, India.

The Asian window lists him as “among the 10 grumpiest living writers”.

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My last trip to India involved 12 flights, staying in 8 different towns / cities, 2 train trips for about 16 hours, many hours in taxis, a good time to think some super-positive and inspiring stuff, buy 12 books at a really good price and read 7 of them on this same trip.

One of the books I read was “The Sunset Club” by Khushwant Singh. I thoroughly enjoyed it. It made my soul “smile” broadly. Funny, witty and serious.

At age 94 he allegedly confessed:

“Each time I see a woman I have dirty thoughts about what she would be like in bed”. Read more  in The Delhi Walla.

In September 2012 The Times of India reported as follows:

“Khushwant Singh, the grand old man of Indian journalism, wants out.

At 98, it is time to hang up his boots, look back and ready for the final journey ahead, he says. But life refuses to let him off the hook.

“I have been writing them for ever 70 years without a break. The truth is that I want to die. I have lived long enough and am fed up with life. I have nothing to look forward to and whatever I want to do in life, I have done. So what is the point of hanging on to life with nothing whatsoever left to do,” Khushwant Singh said Monday in his column, “With Malice Towards One and All”.

He said the only relief he can think of is to recall memories of his past sweethearts.

Despite his frail state of health and wheelchair bound life, the witty “sardar” is as sprightly as ever two years short of a century.

He said nothing gives him greater joy than to admire a pretty face, tickle a quick intellect and enjoy a swig of leisurely whiskey in the evening.

Born in 1915, Khushwant Singh has edited the Yojana, The Illustrated Weekly and The National Herald beside The Hindustan Times. He has written nearly 50 novels and collections of short stories, including the iconic “Train to Pakistan” ~ The Times of India.

I am busy reading “Not a Nice Man to Know: The Best of Khushwant Singh” and am certainly glad that I “know” Mr Singh!

Try and get your hands (eyes) on some of his work (art) and see if it tickles your fancy. It amuses me no-end.

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Photo above Gillitts, South Africa.

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