The Sunset Club by Khushwant Singh is a story that traces the life of three octogenarians over a period of one year. The book is about three friends in their eighties- Pandit Preetam Sharma, Nawab Barkatulla Baig, and Sardar Boota Singh- who have been friends for more than 40 years.
The three meet every day at sunset in Lodhi Gardens, New Delhi; sit on a bench and talk about everything from politics to food, love, and lust. The author gives great attention to detail in building his characters, right from their physical appearance to their eccentricities, habits, and emotions. Of the three old men, Sardar Boota Singh is portrayed as the most colourful of the lot. Full of doubts at most times, Boota Singh is proud of his drinking, philandering, and sexual encounters of his youth.
It is through the lives of these old men that the author attempts to show his readers the cyclical nature of things. The writing has the signature style of Khushwant Singh. While it is poignant in parts, it does not get too melancholic. Every time it comes close to sadness; Khushwant Singh unleashes his acerbic, witty charm that has floored the literati for many generations. The Sunset Club is as much about loneliness of old age as it is about fast changing India, changing moralities, and the circle of life. It has a poignant ending which will make you think, and yet; it does not leave you sad.
Singh is one of the most celebrated Indian authors. He has given his readers several worthy reads over the years such as The Company of Women; The End of India; The Good, The Bad, The Ridiculous- Profiles; Train to Pakistan; and Sahibs who loved India.
This book has been published by Penguin India and is available for order online. The paperback edition of the book is listed with ISBN-10 and ISBN-13 number of 978-0143417798.