“Ek Din bik jaayega, maati ke mol, jag mein reh jaaynege, pyaare tere bol”
I remember reading A Train to Pakistan as a Child, it was more to do with the elaborate sexual encounter, that we spoke off as boys in school, the book was not available in the Library, though was counted as one of the best literary works in India’s history, a torn tattered copy was exchanged, and an image of a Dirty Sardar who wrote stuff that bordered on pornography was formed, the more I read of the man, the more I saw his interviews, it seemed like he was a crack pot, only somewhere later in life I got connected with his work, and understood where he came from, he ended up becoming my favourite sardar, talking about getting drunk and connecting with the Guru, a Spiritual level and a spiritual conversation that made meaning to you as a human, it was no sermon, but a conversation.. Over the years he ended up becoming my favourite author, reading most of his work, and there is still quite a bit of it left for me, from my favourite books of Kushwant Singh on Women, Sex, Love and Lust, to Not a Nice Man to know, a collection of his Best works, to his autobiography, Trust, Love & A Little Malice, the man occupies most of my book shelf in the office and at home, each page, each paragraph, each line, has a lesson in it, from a wise man, who saw the world from a different place.
What eventually became one of my favourite works by Khushwant singh was Death at my Doorstep, that changed my outlook to life in a lot of ways, it was his book, “The Freethinker’s Prayer Book, and Some words to Live By”, that put me on a track to sharing a prayer for the day on my social networks, the man had a great impact in my life, and now he has gone.
I wished and hoped, that I could have met him once, I sat at the Budda Bench in Lodhi Gardens, wondering where he got his ideas on writing from, crossed his house at Sujan Singh Park, thinking, if I should just get up and walk in, but it never happened, reminding me to stop thinking, and start doing… but he is no more.. he will live on, in his writings, in his words, in spirit, and in memory..
So Here is a Big Cheers to the Sardar I loved so much… my favourite… may you rest in peace, by his side, drinking your scotch, thinking of the men and women who came in your life, and spirituality in your own way!
A Fitting Tribute to him is the picture below by Maninder Pal Singh, and in Maninder ji’s words “He was inspiration to start reading, bringing a liberal thought, reading his work was like speaking your own words, living your own life, he was a sikh who could stand up for what he thought was right, and he lived by it”
I can write on and write on about his impact in my life, and the more I look back it, the more I can write about it.. I will miss you, Man
When one’s acts are righteous
Learning and knowledge follow.
When the five senses are mastered
Life become a pilgrimage.
When the heart is in tune [with the Almighty]
Then tinkle the dancer’s ankle-bells.
What can Yama do
When I am in unison with You?
He who abandons desires,
He is the real Sanyasi
He who has mastered passions,
Has become a true yogi
He who has compassion
Is the true monk,
For He Has killed his self without killing himself.
~ Guru Nanak