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Desire to die

Last Independence Day, I turned 98. Being aware of my state of health, the chances of my continuing writing my bi-weekly columns appear bleak. I have been writing them for ever 70 years without a break. Khushwant Singh writes.

india Updated: Sep 16, 2012 23:27 IST

Last Independence Day, I turned 98. Being aware of my state of health, the chances of my continuing writing my bi-weekly columns appear bleak. I have been writing them for ever 70 years without a break. The truth is that I want to die. I have lived long enough and am fed up of life. I have nothing to look forward to - what ever I wanted to do in life, I have done. So what is point of hanging on to life with nothing whatsoever left to do? Then only relief I can think of is to recall memories of past sweethearts. I recall an Urdu couplet:

Raat yoon dil mein teree khoyee yaad aaee
Jaisey veeraney main chupkey say bahaar aa jaaye
Jaisey sehroon mein hauley sey chaley baad-a-naseem
Jaisey beemaar ko be-vajah qaraar aa jaiey
(Tonight your lost memory stole back in my mind
As spring sneaks into the desert waste
As softly blows gentle breeze
As hope comes to sick man
Too sick to hope for life.
So what is the treatment for someone sick beyond hope?
For the body like a corpse
Recall memories of a dead sweet-heart.)

Letdown
My body rattles/made of bamboo shoots tied with splinters,
If a string snaps/or a knot gives way,
The body's frame/will fall to pieces.
Poor soul!!
It had mistaken/my body for a flute
And had entered/to play a melody.
(Gulzar in Poets International)

Hike in Power tariff
In this season of sweltering heat
My dear wife and children sweet
I hope you willn't mind
If I leave a few tips behind
It is much better to brood in the pitch dark night
Than switching on your bedroom light
Learn to sweat out like a stoic most patiently
Rather than switch on the cooler or AC
Go and sit under a shady neighbourhood tree
And revive the ancient culture of your country
And finally to conclude this part of my will
Keep by your bed-side a strong sleeping pill
And avoid running up a hefty power bill
For, whether it is the beginning of the month, middle or the start
You ought to be stingy and smart
For, balancing the household budget has become a rare, fine art.
(Courtesy: Kuldip Salil, Delhi)

Gravitas
Banta Singh badly wanted to be known and remembered as a Great Man… So, after strenuous research, he made a new addition to the Newton's Law of Motion :
"New Theory of Motion"…which says: "A loose motion can never be done in slow motion!"

Good Exchange
Banta: I got a brand new Ford Ikon for my wife.
Santa: Wow…that's an unbelievable exchange offer.

Indebted
Bank sent a letter to Santa saying: "Your payments are outstanding."
Santa wrote back: "Thank you, I am flattered."

Why your wife?
Judge: Why did you shoot your wife instead of shooting her lover?
Sardar: You Honour, It's easier to shoot a woman once, than shooting one man every week.
(Contributed by Vipin Buckshey, Delhi)

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