Portrait of a Serial Killer: Uncollected Writings

by Khushwant Singh | Edited by Mala Dayal

Category: Non-Fiction

Published on the hundredth anniversary of Khushwant Singh’s birth, none of the essays in this collection has been published in book form before. A chilling account of the serial killer Raman Raghav rubs shoulders with an extraordinary portrait of Jawaharlal Nehru followed by an exuberant encounter with Dev Anand, as well as nearly twenty other profiles of saints, charlatans, writers, singers, politicians and other arresting characters. Another section of the book contains vivid sketches of various parts of the country—an unspoilt tribal village in Bihar, the fire of a gulmohar forest in Bokaro, the strange goings-on in the expat community in Darjeeling, a small community in the hinterland that is terrorized by a sudden invasion of snakes, and a bittersweet paean to Delhi, among others. There are also essays that provide insights into familiar characteristics of India—obnoxious VIPs, violence against women, corruption, amiable lunatics, idiot lawyers, stud bulls, Indian men and much else besides. Elegiac, witty and compelling, this is a book that will delight Khushwant Singh’s numerous fans as well as anyone with an interest in contemporary India.

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