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Absolute Khushwant

3.68  ·  Rating Details ·  551 Ratings  ·  59 Reviews
I would like to be remembered as someone who made people smile. One of the great icons of our time, Khushwant Singh, 95, is a man of contradictions. An agnostic who s well-versed in the holy scriptures; a vocal champion of free speech who supported the Emergency; a dirty old man who sees the world in a grain of sand and beauty in a wild flower . Born in 1915 in ...more
Paperback, 189 pages
Published August 24th 2011 by Penguin Books (first published August 17th 2010)
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Arun Divakar
Feb 25, 2014 Arun Divakar rated it liked it
At 90 years of age not many people are too eloquent or articulate. Personally, I think that is a huge loss for we miss out on a great deal of experiences that these people have been through. This sardar though is a different kettle of fish for even at 90 years of age his mind is sharp as a tack. This book is a series of conversations between Khushwant Singh and Humra Quraishi on all things Khushwant.

This man makes an interesting career portrait for in these nine decades of his life, he has seen
...more
Disha
Jul 08, 2014 Disha rated it really liked it
His writing is so raw! Holy. This guy speaks the truth, uncut, uncensored. It seems like he just writes down his thoughts word to word. But I also guess, he can so freely do so due to his age! He is well into 90s! Cant wait to finish this book. Anyone looking for a fun read about Indian politics from a strong writers perspective should read this one.
Ali
Jul 24, 2015 Ali rated it really liked it
Collection of little essays, a book which is an eye opener much needed for our subcontinental societies. Khushwant Singh never disappoints you. A book which can be finished in one sitting, yet is not boring full of life lessons, realities and wit. All of this coming from a 95 year old man who has seen it all. It's more of Morals from Khushwant's life views. A must read!
Caroline
Feb 17, 2011 Caroline rated it really liked it
This was a wonderful book, and I'm thrilled to know a little more about Khushwant. Definitely ready to start reading "Delhi" again... the size of it intimidated me, but the joy of reading Absolute Khushwant has got me back on the bandwagon.

This is my metro book -- it's in my purse these days, and each chapter is a perfect read between a few stations. He's brutally honest about his thoughts after 95 years of living and some 65 years of writing -- he writes about politicians, about sex, about Indi
...more
Maria
Oct 25, 2012 Maria rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed reading this book. It gave me a quick glimpse of many historic events and well-known people who have been responsible for making today's India. What makes it so interesting is that Khushwant Singh was very much there when it all happened and that kept me turning the pages at a faster rate. His brutally honest take on politics and other topics like marriage, sex, himself and death was very straightforward and inspiring in many ways.
Fatima Arif
Apr 06, 2012 Fatima Arif rated it really liked it
You will not be able to put it down until the last point. Like the trademark of Khushwant, he was honest about the topics that he covered. Total respect.
Punit
Oct 11, 2012 Punit rated it really liked it
Singh's criticism at its best. He talks of several topics with great skill and elan. My first book by Singh. Definitely more to come! The Urdu couplets are awesome!
Aneesha
Jun 08, 2013 Aneesha rated it it was amazing
What a writer, what a man!!!
P A Sivachander
Nov 20, 2016 P A Sivachander rated it really liked it
A quick read after what it seemed to be a decade to me. The book is beautiful by the way.
Raja Subramanian
Mar 03, 2014 Raja Subramanian rated it really liked it
Khushwant Singh turned 99 on 2 February 2014! This book, Absolute Khuswant was written when he was 95. I know several person who hate him (who have perhaps not read any of his books, but have formed the opinion that he is a dirty old man). I also know a few persons who have been die-hard fans of his writings, his honesty, his forthright devil-may-care attitude, his convictions, and his love for Urdu poetry. I am definitely one of those few who has read his serious works (The History of the Sikhs ...more
Karan Aylawadi
May 17, 2013 Karan Aylawadi rated it liked it
Probably this is the first time I read Khushwant Singh. I might have read some of his articles here and there.. I do not remember.. but my perception about the man changed with each chapter .. as do one's experiences with life after each year.

He starts off with a bang.. writing in exactly what people secretly love to read.. sex.. and the old man does with some finesse.
But sadly the book has some contradictions.. Maybe initially he got too excited.. and to an extent that he made no bones about t
...more
Shaista
Oct 07, 2014 Shaista rated it it was amazing
Just finished reading 'Absolute Khushwant' - The Low-Down on Life, Death and Most Things In- Between penned by Khushwant Singh with Huma Quraishi. On the cover page of the book it is written,
"I would like to be someone who made people smile."
Not many people cross 90 today and even if they do, they are not as articulate, clear in thought and expression as Khushwant Singh was when he wrote this book at 95.
This book gave me a thorough understanding of the major figures like the Gandhis of Indian
...more
Aman Khanuja
Jul 30, 2013 Aman Khanuja rated it really liked it
i had heard from my friends that Khushwant Singh writes pretty good. this was my first book by him.
this was more of a summary of his life and his views than anything else. the best parts-
1. the urdu couplets and phrases. i will make sure i am in touch with urdu as much as i can after reading this book.
2. he writes about his takes on many important things in life and then leaves it up to the reader to think for himself. at first i found it odd but once i realized what he tried to do, i became a h
...more
Sudha Narayanan
Apr 01, 2016 Sudha Narayanan rated it liked it
In this book, written in 2010, Khushwant Singh writes about his opinions on various events/people in his life. After reading his brilliant "Train from Pakistan", this book was rather interesting.

He has many gems in this book like:
How he is "really very impressed with Rahul Gandhi" and why he shud be the next PM
How the nation is "safe in the hands of the trio MMS-Sonia-Rahul"..
How MMS was the best PM India ever had
How Hegdewar/Tilak/Lajpat Rai etc were responsible for partition of India more than
...more
Reena
Sep 02, 2014 Reena rated it liked it
Contradictory, contrarian, yet compelling -- like the man himself. Quick read and you get the essence of the man from this book. Somewhat rambling and often contradictory what's admirable is how progressive and liberal-minded he's always been in his thinking - even ahead of his time - especially surrounded by the buffoons of his time and place -- who unfortunately still rule the roost in India. His zest for life, his courage in calling a spade a spade, and ultimately his fealty to truth as he ...more
Vipul Gupta
Aug 30, 2015 Vipul Gupta rated it really liked it
Enjoyed reading this. There are many chapters that can help you get move on in your life situations. Another sides of politicians and politics of India are shared which came to me as a surprise. It's truly respectable that he was honest about his life and notions. Of all he explained, there is something that we all think but are not ready to accept in the world. I found it inspiring at times. He has seen a lot in his life and its worthwhile sitting with him and listening to his experience. ...more
Sriranga Chidambara
Dec 23, 2014 Sriranga Chidambara rated it really liked it
I grabbed this from a corner in Crosswords and flipped through some of the pages to see what it was all about. It is one of those very few books for which I have paid full price!

His anecdotes, stories about his childhood, his views on religion, politics, people and places kept me engrossed! I could see myself nodding my head, agreeing to so many of his viewpoints, but vehemently disagreeing with a few, especially his praises for Rahul Gandhi and Sonia Gandhi, which I couldn't quite believe.

I w
...more
Dharan Jain
Apr 04, 2013 Dharan Jain rated it really liked it
Shelves: biography
This book has everything covered that any1 might want to know about Khushwant Singh. What i simply like about khushwant singh is the clear and bold way in which he puts forward his views on any topic.
This book picturizes his life in an awesome manner, from his first crush to his first sexual encounter, this book has been written in a playful manner so as to keep the reader's interested.
It also covers his views on phiosophy,various events right from partition upto the current issues that have ar
...more
Shashank Kulkarni
Mar 11, 2015 Shashank Kulkarni rated it really liked it
It is a very good read - the book is a very crisp collection of Khushwant Singh's views and thoughts about things across a breadth of topics like independence, his relationships, religion and people like the Gandhis and his own family. As is popularly known, he is a very opinionated person and this clearly comes across in this book. His self-described in-depth knowledge of Sikhism, Urdu and even Islam is probably why he is not a hit among the people he calls "fundoos".

I will probably read more o
...more
Jibran
Jan 05, 2015 Jibran rated it really liked it
Shelves: lit-crit
Khushwant Singh died in 2014 at the age of 99. Ah, nervous ninties eh? This is sort of post-autobiography book that features a long interview in which Khushwant relates a few of the lessons he learnt in his long and eventful life. In mid-90s, he says he feels alone now that each and every friend he had known in his life have already gone. He's been waiting for his death since he turned 70 but life somehow clings to him. Even at this age his caustic wit comes sharp, amusing the reader with his ...more
Bigsna
Mar 18, 2011 Bigsna rated it really liked it
Shelves: favorites
An honest account by "the grand old man". Contrary to the much used label for Khushwant Singh as the "dirty old man" this book is like a conversation that comes through in one layer."It is what it is and that is my opinion" is howhe writes it. Its almost like sitting across from him and listening to him speak on life, death and everything in between (just like it says on the cover)
Much enjoyed!! Want to read Truth Love and a little Malice :)
Rahul Ravi
Oct 03, 2011 Rahul Ravi rated it really liked it
Intrigued to know the person whose dirty jokes used to entertain me in adolescence, I bought this book and to my surprise, this guy is much more than a dirty thinker. I loved his upright views on some of the major events of his time. I started reading his works - Train to Pakistan, I Shall Not Hear the Nightingale - and set during the heights of India Freedom movement and late 1940's India- Pakistan partition.
dEstInEdnOmAd
Aug 15, 2011 dEstInEdnOmAd rated it really liked it
Thoroughly enjoyed the man who tells it all. It is always a delight to read his straight forwardness and his frankness. It was an honest conversation and I think he has gained more respect from my end at least for having talked about the many things. i hope his epitaph does read,
"here lies one who spared neither man nor God
waste not your tears on him, he was a sod
writing nasty things he regarded as fun
thank the lord he is dead, son of a gun."
:)
Mukul Bhatnagar
Jul 12, 2015 Mukul Bhatnagar rated it really liked it

Khushwant Singh is written off as a 'Dirty Old Man'. But it must be admitted that he was honest. Almost everyone of us is a hypocrite - many of us have a dirty secrets that we dont want to share with public. But he never had any inhibitions. He wrote what the truth was- he had the guts to speak truth, a trait which is rare these days.
Harnaaz Kaur
Nov 01, 2013 Harnaaz Kaur rated it it was amazing
"You Live Only One & You Ought To Make It This Time, For There Is No Next Time"
No book, better, can give you a reason to be happy, to smile.
No book can teach you better in all aspects of life.
He is not a man! He is a hero! His living gives me a reason to live, many reasons, like infinite.
Great book, MUST READ.
Ritika Chandra
Jul 06, 2014 Ritika Chandra rated it really liked it
Loved this for its raw honesty and simple style. It's an easy read and gives you glimpses of the icon's life and personality which both surprise and inspire the reader. Looking forward to reading his fiction now!
Gopal Krishan
Apr 02, 2016 Gopal Krishan rated it liked it
Written facts about his life.His loyalty,kindness,generosity n friendship r unparalleled.
He was the most transparent person.In this book he has touched upon political
arena,bringing out lot facts.Interesting reading.
Karim
Sep 10, 2012 Karim rated it really liked it
Excellent book..Loved his bold lines..The man who speaks straight with no nonsense...Wondered why did I choose his book so lately ? His views on historical events and riots are honest and true. Completely in awe of this old man..will read more books..
Sea Urchin
Aug 04, 2015 Sea Urchin rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2014-wishlist, 2015
really enjoyed the simplicity of his writing and his candidness. when I was a teenager I read his "train to Pakistan" and it went above my head. maybe I'll pick it up again now that I get him. I also really want to read his books on the Sikes
Monika Stan
Mar 11, 2016 Monika Stan rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
His writing is crude and honest. It's interesting to know what an old man at the age of 95 think, feel and still remember.
One of the epitaph he wrote for himself, ' Here lies one who spare neither man nor God' describe his life, his writings and this book competently. Quite captivating.
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Punjabi 1 5 Mar 29, 2014 09:03PM  
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Khushwant Singh, (Punjabi: ਖੁਸਵੰਤ ਸਿੰਘ, Hindi: खुशवंत सिंह) born on 2 February 1915 in Hadali, British India, now a part of Punjab, Pakistan, was a prominent Indian novelist and journalist. Singh's weekly column, "With Malice towards One and All", carried by several Indian newspapers, was among the most widely-read columns in the country.

An important post-colonial novelist writing in English, Sing
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