Khushwant Singh - Author & Columnist
"Driving ambition to do
something" has kept him active and agile. "I want to keep
writing and I am very disciplined about it .. I enjoy a drink or two
but I have never been drunk. And if I think a lady is beautiful I
say it on her face regardless of who is hearing. Beyond that I have
time neither for women nor for getting drunk."
At 87 Khushwant feels that it is
the " Driving ambition to do something", that has kept him
so active. He says, " I work steadily from five to seven in the
morning. I want to keep writing and I am very disciplined about
it." However he adds he is disciplined in everything he does.
Including in his food and rest habits in which he brooks no
interference from anyone.
Khushwant adds, " I do not
eat Punjabi or Mughlai food. I prefer light European food, lunch is
only a bowl of soup or dal. I only eat dinner. I never allow my
guests to stay after nine o'clock. I play tennis every morning for
His day starts in the wee hours of
the morning. Exactly at 4:30 a.m. he is on his favourite chair in
his living room legs stretched out on a coir mooda. That's
when he does much of his writing. By 7.30 a.m. he's ready for his
morning walk or an occasional dip at the Gymkhana swimming pool.
After a shower and breakfast and a browsing through the day's papers
it's back to work to meet those unforgiving deadlines. A quiet nap
in the afternoon followed by some more work and then it's time to
relax with friends, with books or simply with good music.
In the evening he enjoys his two chhotas
and has a self-confessed glad eye for beauty. But beyond that it's
all an image which he has built around himself and he likes to live
upto that image. " I enjoy a drink or two but I have never been
drunk. And if I think a lady is beautiful I say it on her face
regardless of who is hearing. Beyond that I have time neither for
women nor for getting drunk."
In fact the writer reveals that
the secret of vitality in any human being, including in him, is the
desire to do something creative in life. He explains, " It has
become a habit to be active, to be occupied in some fruitful
pursuit. I am never idle. Always looking to the future. There is
still so much to do and that keeps me on my toes all the time."
According to him, it is the desire to look into the future and to be
able to chart out a course towards the stars that really makes a
person forget any bodily ailment he might have.