Khushwant Singh: 11 secrets of a long, happy life

As he prepares to turn 98 next month, the “dirty old man of Indian journalism”, Khushwant Singhis in an effusive mood, revealing the tricks of Life Sutra, in his Deccan Herald column.

1) If you cannot play a game or exercise, get yourself a nice massage once if not two times a day. Not a greasy oil massage, but powerful hands going all over your body from skull to toes.

2) Cut down on your intake of food and drink.  Maintain a strict routine for intake of food. Use a stop watch if necessary. Guava juice is better than any other fruit juice

3) Forget ragi malt. A single peg of single malt whisky at night gives you a false appetite. Before you eat dinner, say to yourself ‘Don’t eat much’.

4) Eat one kind of vegetable or meat, followed by a pinch of chooran. Eat alone and in silence. Idli-dosa is healthier and easier to digest.

5) Never allow yourself to be constipated. Keep your bowels clean by whatever means you can: by lexatives, enemas, glycerine suppositories.

6) Keep a healthy bank balance for peace of mind. It does not have to be in crores, but enough for your future needs and possibility of falling ill.

7) Never lose your temper.

8) Never tell a lie.

9) Cleanse your soul, give generously. Remember you cannot take it with you. You may give it to your children, your servants or in charity.

10) Instead of whiling your time praying, take up a hobby: like gardening, helping children.

Bonus suggestion: If you can afford it, get yourself some nice genes.

Read the full article: Secret of my longevity

Photograph: courtesy Outlook

External reading: Khushwant Singh on how to live and die

Also read: If it works for the young man, it sure works for us

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30 Responses to “Khushwant Singh: 11 secrets of a long, happy life”

  1. Ramesh Raghuvanshi Says:

    Secrete o Khushwant `s longevity is he lie too much in this article also he lie.Really speaking there is longevity formula .gene and by luck man live longer life.

  2. the colonel Says:

    The Sardar finally makes sense

    One More Comment from:-

    “”Atta Boy!

    The excerpt from Khushwant Singh’s latest book is quite engrossing (How To Live & Die, Aug 16). Like Khushwant, I too am a senior, senior citizen—a good 97, no less. I too don’t believe in God, karma, heaven, hell etc, since all of the items are available in plenty here on earth. Life after death can’t be worse than what I’ve already gone through!

    L. Arvind, Bangalore””

  3. Prasad Says:

    A Great guy. Long live his tribe. A jolly fellow. When he revived the Illustrated weekly, we knew he will live long! Sex and women has kept him going.

  4. pdk Says:

    Being a big fan of his, I was nevertheless puzzled by one omission. Sex. Or maybe it was intentional?

    Also, I’m sure he meant jeans. I always have two good ones at any point in time.

  5. ERR Says:

    plus, once a week gossip about some whiskey-gulping ravishing beauty to whom our sardar is no doubt related thro’s fourth cousin of fifth uncle.. couplets from Faiz Ahmed Faiz; some bitching here and there… well done sardar! you will score a century whether Sachin gets it or not, and you deserve it!

  6. Anonymous Guy Says:

    pdk, Sex at 98? Even the strongest dose of Viagra wont make that happen.

    His advise boils down to basics:
    diet, exercise, money and genes.

    In India, most old people don’t have control or influence on any of the 4.

  7. pdk Says:

    Anonymous Guy, It’s all in the mind at that age I guess. All modern checklists for a happy life list sex as one of the things to indulge in – releases stress, good for the heart etc That being the case, I thought KS, being KS, would’ve included it in his list. But apparently not :-)

  8. sanjeeva Says:

    The big question is How much is a “Healthy Bank Balance”! It HAS to be in crores in today’s conditions. Joking apart, longevity has no formula. There have been quite a few shatayushis in Karnataka – Sir M.V., Prof. A.N.Murthyrao, Karim Khan, Sudhakar Chaturvedi among many others. Just analyse their life history. One may find the reasons (not the key).

  9. OffByOne Says:

    Churumuri, learn to count. 2012 minus 1915 is NinetySeven, not NinetyEight.

  10. asha Says:


    KS must have had enough sex in his lifetime. It was his readers who were sex starved and were salivating for his soft porn weekly writings. But anyway as the saying goes “Paapi Chiraayu”

  11. Pulikeshi the Last Says:

    How about doing chelaship with those in power? The man has a long history of subservience to the Gandhi familiy, doesn’t he?

  12. harkol Says:

    The one he advice he gave as bonus, the ‘genes’, should’ve been the first.

    Length of your telomere has more than anything else to do with how long you’ll live. And unfortunately, no amount of money at this point can help you change that.

    You are born with a expiry date. You can expire before expiry date, if you don’t maintain the container (body) in prescribed conditions. So, best you can do is ensure you don’t abuse your body.

  13. Chombuka Says:

    This man is a living example that licking the right feet can take you places…No self respecting individual will ever give this crook an invite for an interview..shame on such a life and shame on all the boot lickers of his ilk!!!!

  14. Anonymous Guy Says:


    Yes, operative word being ‘at this time’.

    There is a definite correlation between non-genetic factors and life expectency:

    Making us like longer is also a field for research/applied science which is showing steady results:

    As the article says: “Some scientists think it’s possible to live for 500 or even 1,000 years”

    Whether we want to etc. are philosophical questions for now, the book mentioned in the article explores these issues.


    What is the paapa in eating well, exercising, earning money and having/reading/writing about sex?

  15. Pulikeshi the Last Says:


    Sheshagiri Rao and G. Venkatasubbayya are about to join the list. Also Doreswamy.

    Devegowda, too?

  16. sanjeeva Says:

    PTL – In the case of politicians, the elixir of power makes them live longer. Karuna, V.S.Achuthanandan, Jyothi Basu, R.Venkataraman …… In the recent Kerala assembly elections, one Gowri Amma contested at the age of 96! As far DG, he is just 76 years young. He has a long way to go. More over he has the task of teaching the tricks to his grand son!

  17. Kashinath Says:

    Sakkare tindre “Shugarru”, Mudde tindru “Figurru”

  18. Pulikeshi the Last Says:


    No paapa in living well. But we are a puritanical nation. We are always worried that others are enjoying what we cannot do.

  19. Dalbir Sigh Says:

    well said.

  20. Rajesh Kumar Says:

    Khushwant Singh Ji, u r great…..your novel The Sunset Club is really wonderful..especially episodes related to Boota Singh and Sharma’s unmarried life. the characters in your novel…….The words choosen in the novel are really ……….! Kash ki apak ph. no. hota tau apse bat kar lete….dil ki tamanna puri ho jati…..apka likh hamesha padta hun….God bless u a long life sir….so that we can have more crispy and tasty novels form your humble self……

  21. N.Krishnamurthy Says:

    Years back KS wrote that on the advice of his doctor he has been taking the tablet ‘Revital’ every morning, after the breakfast. This helps him stay fit, he wrote in his weekly column. Perhaps this Chinese root also contributes to his fit health.

  22. Narendra Chauhan Says:

    he is right, lying worrying and not having money can make you die soon. love life love sex, there are no reasons to hide anything. narendra chauhan.


    KS JI, I am great fan of you, I never skip yours writing anywhere.
    I am yours ardent reader since the days of Illustrated Weekly of
    India.Yours candid writing is one of the best in the world. May the GOD bless you with more years so that you remain guiding us with
    valuable tips about facts of life.C.J.SINGH. JAGRAON (PUNJAB)

  24. Andrew Harvard Says:

    KS is a really funny guy – busy reading “Not a Nice Man to Know: The Best of Khushwant Singh”

  25. Pushpinder Singh Dhanjal Says:

    A great man. I always liked him. Have lot of respect for him since I met him here in Denmark long time back. He will be with us for many years to come.

  26. Says:

    Khushwant Singh Ji, even here in Texas, you have a lot of fans. In your writings you say like it is – you don’t mince words. I am really amazed how well you write even at this age! How is your memory, may I ask? Keep up the fantastic work and keep taking a shot of single malt – I love it too. God bless!

  27. amarpal singh Says:

    i think it wll b dream for m to meet khushwant,relly khush i m ur biggggggggggggggggggggggggg fan,plz let m meet u ,i only want to see u wd my eyes.kindly allw m to meet u.

  28. Kris Kumar Says:

    Khushwant ji, let us know ya email address. I hope you would respond if we write to you; you are still so young!!

  29. Kuljeet Singh Minhas Says:

    Pappaji,Sat shri Akal,Die hard fan of your’s.Have a life long wish to meet you,but your door says,DON’T COME WITHOUT INVITATION’Sir,How do I come,Please invite.Looking forward.Kuljeet Singh Minhas.

  30. Ashish Kr. Mishra Says:

    Ashish Kr. Mishra,

    I have read so much about you and about your book I got so much experience and feel by you.I want you have a life long and i pray to god for life long.

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