I have always admired Khushwant Singh for his «truthfully yours» style of writing; he does not hesitate in writing the most biting remarks which he feels for somebody (read celebrity), and also adds a touch of tongue-in-cheek humour along with it to keep the reader entertained.
I had been an avid reader of his columns «With malice towards one and all» for a long time. In his book «Absolute Khushwant», he has co-written his recollection of the past along with another journalist Humra Quraishi. Basically it is a recited narration of his recollection of the past many past events, and penned by Quraishi.
Khushwant is 95 years old, but the sparkle in his eyes is still the same as ever, a twinkle with a lot of humorous malice (if I may take the liberty)!! With the cover also depicting him in his unmistakable appearance — bespectacled, though without his turban — the evidence of his age shows though and even his honesty and opinions be it a political figure he loves to hate or a public figure he hates to love or even someone from his own life, !!
Absolute Khushwant has 33 small chapters which can be read quickly. Some are interesting others look more like an extract of a larger essay or maybe a blog from the past! His sarcasms are as evident as his admirations for people and subjects. For example, His love and hate for the Nehru-Gandhi family is pretty evident with the manner he speaks plainly about them.
He speaks very highly of Sanjay Gandhi and says he was a true man of words and action, while his mother Indira Gandhi was dictatorial and even narrow minded in her thoughts. He also goes ahead and says that Varun Gandhi is bad for Indian politics and is very dangerous for the country's unity!
4 chapters on the Nehru-Gandhi legacy are a bit too much though!His admiration for people comes in a chapter aptly titled «Those I Respect and Admire», where he speaks highly of Sanjay Gandhi, Mother Teresa and Dr Manmohan Singh, who according to him is the best PM the country could have ever had.
His love for juicy topics of Women and Sex is also available in his usual outspoken and funny manner.There are some old black & White photographs from Khushwant Singh's life which I guess could come as a break in the flow of stories and also involve you in his thoughts on life till date.
His leanings towards the good bad and ugly are very candid and his thoughts are plain, simple and straight.He is also very candid about death but he wants it to come swiftly or in his sleep! He is a self confessed atheist but still is an admirer of Sikhism and religious scriptures, and is also straight unabashed about his hate for religious fundamentalism.
Khushwant Singh has been a man of letters for over six decades now and his controversial and much provocative style of writing is very well known. Read this book for SpeedyPaper Discount a get-to-know of his life's ups, downs, strengths, weakness, loves,hates.Read it to know what makes him tick!!