Traveling helps authors enrich their experiences: Khushwant Singh, Hoshiarpur-based author: The Tribune India

Tribune press service

Jalandhar, May 13

Reading excerpts from his new book and sharing his insights with book lovers across the city, Hoshiarpur-based author Khushwant Singh on Friday launched his new novel ‘The opium caramel‘ in an event organized by The Pageturners here.

Singh introduced his book to readers: “It’s about drugs, bigotry, politics and the dominant patriarchy. The protagonist of my story is Indian supermodel Shabnam Singh who finds her first love Ajit begging on a London street. She is shocked to know the circumstances that led to the situation. The story dates back to the period between 90s London and the turbulent Punjab of the 80s and touches on the turbulent times era of the state.

Avkirat Dyal from The Pageturners asks the author a few questions, “While most authors like to travel abroad, you have toured India with your book launch events”. Khushwant Singh retorts, “Traveling enriches an author’s experiences and makes them flourish. I wish I had done it earlier. When I launched Capt Amarinder Singh’s biography “The Maharaja of the People” in February 2017, just after the poll and the results were yet to be released, I launched the book only in Punjab. It was the time when the captain had taken the whole country by storm and everyone was talking about him and wanting to know more about him. If I had toured India with his books, sales would have been much higher, although we had to get five quick reprints of the book immediately after launch due to high demand.”

Reading excerpts, he shared stories from four decades old Punjab, when most village households were abuzz with the daily discussion of how much milk, butter, ghee, buttermilk, paneer or curdled milk generated on a particular day. Responding to a question about what he considered the biggest benefit of his book, he said: “For any writer or filmmaker, the biggest challenge is that the reader can identify with the story as the his.”

Lola R. McClure