Self Expression Magazine

10 Questions Answered by Khushwant Singh

Posted on the 07 January 2013 by Unforgettable
Scotch is mandatory, even if it's a ceremony to confer Punjab's highest honour, Punjab Rattan, on its grand old son 10 Questions answered by Khushwant Singh
What does this latest award mean to you?
It means more than all the others because it comes from my own people. The fact that I'm receiving an award from Punjab even though I don't write in Punjabi is something to celebrate.  How many awards did you get this year?
Three—a doctorate from Rohtak University, another from Sikhs of Canada and now this.
It must be wonderful to get all these awards now when you're 92?
I'd rather be 22 with no books or awards.
But you're busier than you've ever been?
Quite true, I've ceased to have a private life. I live alone but am never left alone. Day after day, it's a mehfil, that's why I'm running away again to my cottage in Kasauli.
But the notice outside says: Don't ring the bell unless you have an appointment?
Yes, but these are people coming from far away like Jalandhar or Chandigarh or even from abroad, and I can't say no to them.
The secret of your popularity as a writer is...
An editor once said, I had turned bullshit into an art form. But let him try that, it's very hard work. You have to talk on the level with your readers and create a rapport.
Your Train to Pakistan has just come out in a fiftieth anniversary edition?
I am very happy it's got a new lease of life, although it never quite died. I still continue to get substantial royalties, Indian and foreign.
What's the worst thing about being 92?
Your zest for life keeps oozing out.
And the best? There's no best. Except perhaps surviving in reasonable health.
Your advice to young writers?
It's not a profession for making money. If you have it in you, it comes out; there's something that compels you to be a writer.
Source: Outlook India

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