Khushwant Singh died today, on 20 March 2014. He was 99. Writing until just a few weeks before his death, and reading till the very end, the fearless Sikh had lived a full life, which by all standards is much more than a dream run any writer can hope for. As a writer and a satirist, he earned the highest accolades as well as biting criticism, but incorrigible as he was – you could love him, you could hate him, but you could never hope to change him.
Courageous and candid, he made friends just as easily as he parted ways with them. He followed his heart everywhere and stood true to his beliefs – unfazed, unbending, and unyielding – irrespective of the cost. He was as much in command of his life as he was of his death, meeting both with the same irreverence – a true sign of someone who has never made compromises with his true self.
He will not only be remembered for his illustrious writing career, his several critically acclaimed books, and his unrelenting humour, but also for his flair of landing into controversies, not that he would ever mind it.
Rest in peace Mr Khushwant Singh! We may not have agreed with everything you wrote, but you made a huge mark on the world of literature while you lived, and now in your death, you have left a void that can’t be filled easily…