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Dec 11, 2018-Tuesday
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Remembering Ruth

Last month my daughter told me that she had heard Ruth was very sick and not expected to last long. So it was not a shock to learn that she passed away on the 3rd of this month. Khushwant Singh reports.

columns Updated: Apr 22, 2013 00:32 IST

Last month my daughter told me that she had heard Ruth was very sick and not expected to last long. So it was not a shock to learn that she passed away on the 3rd of this month. When I read about her going in the morning papers, tears began to roll down from my eyes.

I was very devoted to her, Parsi architect and artist Cyrus Jhabvala and their three lovely daughters. They came close to me as she heard about my giving refuge to a few German Jews who fled Nazi persecution of Jews. Later, I set up the Society of Indian Friends of Israel and helped a few to migrate to Israel. I visited Israel thrice and saw how Indian Jews were faring in their new motherland. There was not the slightest taint of Islamophobia in my affection for the Jews. I had a few English and French Jewish friends. When Ruth fell in love with Cyrus, she brought him to her home to meet her mother. It is said that her mother's first reaction was of disappointment. "He is not even a goy." Goy is Yiddish word for non-Jewish gentile.

Ruth made a loving wife and earned distinction by writing novels of which Heat and Dust was best known for its vivid portrayal of Delhi middle class. It won her Booker Prize. Some of her novels were made into films by Ismail Merchant and James Ivory.

After lving in Delhi for many years, she persuaded her husband to migrate to the United States. They set up a second home in New York which has become the home of many Jews who cannot cope with the Spartan living conditions in Israel.

Ghost marriages
"The market for ghost marriages is thriving in rural areas," the prosecutor told a court inYan'an city, Shanxi province" and three four men took advantage of it. They dug up ten female corpses, cleaned the bodies, and eyed the hair, to make the women look younger. They then sold the bodies to families with recently deceased bachelors, so that the men could be buried alongside their "wives", and would not grow lonely in the afterlife."

The four men - surnamed Pang, Bai, He and Zhang - had exploited the ritual of ghost marriages, which dates back to at least 1700 B.C. "They sold the ten corpses on the black market for pond 25,000, :continued the prosecutor. "But these are not the only cases we know about. Just last month, one dead woman was sold by her family for R3,700, to another family who buried her alongside their son. We caught the graverobber when he exhumed her body again, and tried to sell it to a second family. And in 2009, a grieving father in Xianyang city paid a team of graverobbers Pound 2,700 to find a suitable bride for his son, who had died in a car crash. The robber were arrested while exhuming the remains of a teenage girl who had killed herself after failing her college entrance exams. In many cases corpses are purchased straight from hospitals, where ghost marriage dealers make financial arrangements with grieving families."

The four men were each sentenced to two years in prison
(Courtesy : Private Eye, England)

Matrimonial Error
Santa buys a new Tempo truck for his transport business in his wife's name. He then paints her name on both side doors of the tempo… He arrives home. Rushes in excitedly for wife Jaswinder to bring some flowers and a coconut for its inauguration.

As the wife approaches the tempo, she read the display on the side doors; turns around and slaps him hard on both cheeks. He had painted…
Jaswinder Kaur

For Hire
Full day Rs 300
Night charges extra
(Courtesy Vipin Buckshey, New Delhi)

Bank Sex
What is the similarity between banking and having sex? In both cases, you lose interest after withdrawal.

A middle aged man accosted a youngish fellow in a car on a highway and pointed his gun at him. The young fellow began taking out his wallet, cell phone etc but the highway thief wanted none of those. 'Masturbate,' he ordered.

Though surprised, the young man obliged. After he finished the older man said:

'Masturbate again,'


'Do as I say or…'

With great difficulty he managed another orgasm and said : "I cannot do it again even if you kill me, so please don't ask.' 'Maria' the older man called out to his daughter. You are safe with this man. He will drop you to the city.'
(contributed by Amrinder Bajaj, New Delhi)

First Published: Apr 22, 2013 00:28 IST