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Born in 1915 in pre-Partition Punjab, Khushwant Singh, perhaps India's most widely read and controversial writer has been witness to most of the major events in modern Indian history from Independence and Partition to the Emergency and Operation Blue Star and has known many of the figures who have shaped it. With clarity and candour, he writes of leaders like Jawaharlal Nehru and Indira Gandhi, the terrorist Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale, the talented and scandalous painter Amrita Shergil, and everyday people who became butchers during Partition.
Writing of his own life, too, Khushwant Singh remains unflinchingly forthright. He records his professional triumphs and failures as a lawyer, journalist, writer and Member of Parliament; the comforts and disappointments in his marriage of over sixty years; his first, awkward sexual encounter; his phobia of ghosts and his fascination with death; the friends who betrayed him, and also those whom he failed.