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journey that Khushwant Singh has taken in fiction-writing. Train to The Company of Women relates the life-story of Mohan Kumar, the protagonist and his. Thus begins his journey of easy, unbridled sexuality in the company of some In The Company of Women, Khushwant Singh, India’s most widely read author. The Company of Women [Khushwant Singh] on *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers. Recently separated from his nagging, ill-tempered wife of.

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The similarity ends there. Singh clarifies the protagonist is purely fictional. Even so, in the following extracts, the carping commentary on Indian society and hypocrisy, the brazen views on sex, the essential loneliness of a gregarious persona, suggest that the book, in however tortuous a manner, is a window to its creator. But he has mixed feelings about the marriage market What did I make of the Achint Ram family? They had everything I disliked about upstart Punjabi families.

Pots of money but no class. I had seen enough evidence of that in their sitting room. Black marble floor, white marble walls, chandeliers more appropriate in the lobby of a hotel than a private home. Italian marble tables with silver framed photographs of powerful politicians, but no Gandhi, no Nehru. Despite the large garden there were plastic flowers in ornate vases and crystal bowls with plastic bananas, cherries, apples, grapes and pineapples.

The Company of Women

I suspected that the chandeliers were not made of cut glass but of plastic. Achint Ram had dyed his hair and walrus moustache, but the white at the roots showed they needed a fresh coat of dye. His black sherwani had gold buttons studded with diamonds. The walking stick he carried even inside the house was of black ebony with an ivory handle carved to resemble a snarling lion. His wife was as fat as him and decorated like a Christmas tree with heavy gold jewellery: I had expected the sons to be more sophisticated than their parents, but they had turned out to be arrivistes as well.

They wore western clothes but with shiny bright red ties, and red handkerchiefs sticking out of their front pockets. All three had used too much perfume, had gold or platinum rings with precious stones on their fingers, and gold-chained wristwatches worn with the dials facing inwards.

And they kept cracking their fingers – thig, thig, thig. The youngest was the most crude; while talking to me in his loud voice he kept jigging his legs.

First he rested one leg on the other, which he kept rapidly pushing up and down. Then he changed his style of shaking them by spreading out his thighs and bringing them together – endlessly. How could I have a serious conversation with someone who was fidgeting all the time? They kept gaping at me as if envying their sister-in-law for having landed a husband who was more handsome and better educated than their own husbands. Then there was their Mercedes Benz, which brought us home.

There was a silver Ganpati on the dashboard and a bottle of perfume beside it. A fluffy gnome dangled on the rear pane. It was no use telling my father about the lack of class in this rich family; he would not have understood. I also felt it was not fair to club Sonu with the rest of the family.


She was beddable enough and I could teach her about the right style of living and behaviour, the difference between crystal, cut glass and plastic. I weighted the pros and cons of marriage.

To me sex was the more pressing need than love or companionship. For too long have we been fooled into believing that the basis of a happy man-woman relationship is love. Love is an elusive concept and means different things to different people. There is nothing elusive about lust because it means the same thing to all people: Cuddling, kissing and fondling leading to sexual intercourse. Love cannot last very long without lust. Lust has no time limit and is the true foundation of love and affection.

I also thought over the wisdom of marrying a rich man’s daughter and bringing her out of a large mansion to a pokey little flat. I would have to find better accommodation and earn enough to keep her in the style she was accustomed to. I did not want to be beholden to her father and be treated as a ghar jamai – the resident son-in-law.

Then there was Sonu herself: She was almost certain to be a virgin and looked the kind who might resent my not being one. During the tea session she was sulking, as if preparing herself for a rejection: If I said yes, she might think that I was swayed more by her father’s wealth and position than her looks. Father was obviously looking forward to a matrimonial alliance that would raise his status in society.

Lala Achint Ram was keen to have an “America-returned”, highly educated boy as his son-in-law to add respectability and sophistication to all the benefits of wealth that he already had.

Everything depended on my saying yes. Ultimately, it was fantasising about deflowering Sonu, the haughty little memsahib, and having her in bed whenever I wanted to that made me decide in favour of accepting the offer.

After his divorce Kumar has many affairs. One of them with a Lankan. She did not come in her embassy car but in a taxi. From the balcony I saw the cab slow down outside Ranjit Villa and pull up in front of my neighbour’s.

Book extract: Khushwant Singh’s ‘The Company of Women’

I wonan Sue pay off the driver, open her parasol to cover her head against the midday sun and gingerly walk back into Ranjit Villa.

Before she could ring the bell, I opened the door to let her in. Thank God your house is cool. Besides the AC, the ceiling fan was on at maximum speed. She collapsed in an armchair, stretched her hands behind her and said, “Let me cool off. I opened two cans of chilled beer, poured their contents into crystal glass tumblers and handed her one.

She turned the frosting glass in her hand and exclaimed, “Lalique, tres chic! Mr Kumar, you are a man of expensive tastes. We finished co,pany beer. The cook’s left some fish mayonnaise and cold salad in the fridge.


I took her by the hand and led the way to my bedroom. I’d like to get out of these clothes first and take a shower. She wasn’t tall enough to soap my neck, so she concentrated on my middle – rear and front. We rubbed each other dry, tossed the towels on the floor, went into the bedroom and lay down on the bed.

I did not know what she was up to, but got her a tray of ice nevertheless. She put some cubes in a handkerchief and asked me to rub it against her breasts. As I did so, her breasts began to stiffen and her nipples turned into hard blackberries.

We were lying on our sides; she put one leg over mine and with one bony hand guided me into her. I could not enter her fully in that position. I went into her again. Nothing to worry about this time. I rammed into her. She oof small but had no problem taking all I had.

Every time I plunged into her she thrust her pelvis up to receive me.

I bit her little breasts savagely. She egged me on. We came in a furious frenzy. I did not want to be disloyal to women who had given me as much pleasure, most of all her predecessor, Molly Gomes. Perhaps she understood that it was not the greatest.

Death of Mohan Kumar: And duels with destiny. For nearly two years after Dr Malhotra had pronounced the dreaded verdict, Mohan led a relatively healthy and outwardly normal life. It was difficult at first, but gradually he learnt not to let it torture him; he crowded his waking hours with work and harmless socialising with his khuxhwant friends and at night he slept soundly, signh after having taken a sleeping pill.

Then, in October that year, the season changed, he caught a chill. It turned into a virulent cold. He could not shake it off. When Dr Malhotra examined him, he detected symptoms of TB in his lungs.

He passed the death sentence on Mohan as gently as he could. I can control its onset with your help but Og can’t cure it.

The Company of Women by Khushwant Singh

Much of what he read in it made sense khkshwant him, but the passages on death confused him. The Lord was right in saying, “For one that is born, death is certain,” but there was no proof that Mohan knew of to support Krishna saying, “For one who dies, birth is certain. Mohan gave up taking sleeping pills and stored them for future use.

If sleep did not come to him he recited the Gayatri mantra over and over again till he dozed off. One night he was shaken by a violent bout of coughing. The phlegm was choking him.

He went to the bathroom and spat it into the basin.