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Khushwant’s confessions

"I have a dirty mind," declared Khushwant Singh. “Each time I see a woman I have dirty thoughts about what she would be like in bed,” the 94-year-old novelist confessed in one of his rare public appearances.

books Updated: Nov 07, 2009 16:28 IST
Mayank Austen Soofi

"I have a dirty mind," declared Khushwant Singh. “Each time I see a woman I have dirty thoughts about what she would be like in bed,” the 94-year-old novelist confessed in one of his rare public appearances. The celebrated author was in a conversation with Koel Purie for her TV talk show recorded on Friday night at Hotel Le Meridian.

Facing a select audience that included Gursharan Kaur, the prime minister's wife, the old man brought the hall roaring down with repartees that were as much witty as intelligent. His talk peppered with literary references from Urdu poet Ahmad Faraz to William Shakespeare, Singh said, “I don’t know a single married couple whose mind has not been tempted by an extra-marital affair.” Queried on his worst nightmare, Singh shot back, “Finding myself in a kachcha (underwear) in a gathering like this.”

Singh said that each morning he notes down everything in his diary, including if the day had started with constipation. Asked who was the biggest donkey among all the prime ministers, he quipped, “Deve Gowda,” the politician often photographed sleeping in official meetings. Admitting that the Mahatma was the only prophet he believed in, Singh said, “Gandhi was a bit of a crank.” He didn’t spare himself, either. “I was a bad lawyer, a 2nd rate diplomat and a 3rd rate teacher.”

Singh’s reputation as an ‘dirty old man’ grew through his joke books, his novels. He says he has no control over his dreams. “I know it’s stupid at this age but I’m writing a novel.” Good luck.