Rashmi Talwar

Author of ‘The Opium Toffee’ Khushwant Singh interacts with Amritsar Univ students

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Amritsar: Khushwant Singh, renowned writer, dwelt at length on his latest novel The Opium Toffee which unfolds a story of the troubled times of the 1980s in Punjab.

During an interaction with students of Guru Nanak Dev University Amritsar, the author said writing was a therapeutic force for various traumas people might be carrying, especially in times of turmoil.

Apart from being a story about drug addiction and illegal human trafficking, the novel talks about people, especially those in their early youth, trapped between the two contending forces—militants and security agencies. “It does throw some light on the situation in Jammu Kashmir, just as in the novel during the militancy in Punja,” a senior faculty member commented upon the similie.

In the book, the main character finds his way back through the love of his life. The story probes the atmosphere of toxic patriarchy in certain orthodox quarters which came in the way of young women struggling to fulfill their ambitions, especially stuck in times of turmoil and thereafter in the atmosphere of drug addiction. 

Singh’s earlier novel Maharaja in Denims, employing the device of past life regression, is also an interesting story of Punjabi youth trying to survive that difficult phase of the State.

He narrated some interesting anecdotes about confusion arising out of his sharing his name with Khushwant Singh the renowned writer known for his book “Train to Pakistan”. 

Dr. Yubee Gill, Head of Department of English, GNDU moderated the session.

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