WRITING STYLE: 3.5/5
ENTERTAINMENT QUOTIENT: 3.5/5
Khushwant Singh, who breathed his last on 20th March of 2014, was a man with many faces.
A novelist, politician, journalist and a lawyer too, he is largely known today for his famous works like a Train to Pakistan, I Shall Not Hear the Nightingale, Delhi: A Novel and The Company of Women among many others.
His writing style is witty and his love for poetry can be seen in almost all his compositions.
On Women: Selected Writings is an ode to the man who has always been known for his profound and sometimes brazen interest in women.
The book is a compilation of some of Singh’s many writings on and about women. It also includes some of his best-known women characters – Nooran from A Train to Pakistan, Georgine from Delhi: A Novel and Yasmeen from The Company of Women.
Khushwant Singh writes about a number of women he has come across in life – from a retarded beggar of Churchgate, Mumbai to his wife Kaval Malik, from the ferocious and infamous Bandit Queen of Behmai.
From Phoolan Devi to the beautiful Ghayoorunnisa Hafeez of Hyderabad, from the vivacious Sadia Dehlvi to the bold journalist Anees Jung, from his beloved grandmother to the universal seductress Amrita Sher-gill.
From yesteryear’s actress Begum Para to the compelling leader of the nation Indira Gandhi, from the saintly and selfless Mother Teresa to sadhvi tantrik Shraddha Mata and promiscuous Protima Bedi.
On Women: Selected Writings has what makes Khushwant Singh one of India’s most-read and most popular writers in English – candidness.
The book starts off with a few fictional characters taken from three of the Singh’s most famous works of fiction and slowly progresses to the various women who had impacted Khushwant’s life.
The book, though on the outset may appear like a vulgar example of Khushwant’s brazenness is no close to that, in fact, it is rather quite the opposite.
From the way Singh writes about these women, shows how much he had revered most of them in his lifetime.
The book has a nice and classy cover and the blurb too is quite attractive too. The paper quality and the quality of the book is very good.
The book is a short one, all of 135 odd pages and is a nice way to bid a man; who has been so vocal about his thoughts and views on women, goodbye.
I rate On Women: Selected Writings three and a half star and recommend it to anyone who is a fan of Khushwant Singh’s writing.