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Khushwant’s evening out

entertainment Updated: Aug 20, 2010 00:40 IST
Mayank Austen Soofi

The mystery is solved. Delhi’s literati would always guess the city’s most iconic author’s age, but never get it right. “Is Khushwant Singh 93?”, one would ask. Another would reply, “No, he is 91.” And the debate would go on. The confusion ended last Monday, when the author’s age was announced during the launch of his book, Absolute Khushwant. Singh is 95.

Across the road from his apartment in Sujan Singh Park, The Ambassador Hotel hosted a special evening for Singh, where he also cut a big chocolate cake. Co-written with columnist Humra Quraishi, the book touches on many aspects of Singh’s life.

Singh didn’t talk much, but the few words that he uttered, had the crowd — that included MP Shashi Tharoor — in splits. Sitting by the side of Gursharan Kaur, the Prime Minister’s wife, Singh said, “I want to make it clear that I haven’t invited the First Lady. She’s a gate-crasher.”

Talking about Singh, journalist MJ Akbar helped in clearing another confusion that has always beguiled the author’s followers. Yes, Singh drinks daily, but only two pegs of Scotch. With five more years to hit a century, Singh is now working on a novel.