Known for his larger than life image, author and journalist Khushwant Singh, who died here Thursday, aged 99 had a subdued funeral attended by a few family members and politicians while media persons made up most of the crowd.
There was no cavalcade of vehicles following the white coloured Maruti Eeco van in which he undertook his last journey, accompanied by his son Rahul Singh, to the Lodhi Road crematorium, a five minute drive from his posh south Delhi home in Sujan Singh Park.
The crematorium too saw a moderate turnout. Apart from the family members, some politicians, journalists and writers who had come to pay their obeisance, the media persons covering the funeral made up most of the crowd.
Draped in shawls, wreaths made of white lily flowers as well as bouquets and garlands of marigold, chrysanthemum and roses, Singh's body was consigned to flames at around 4.30 p.m. in the electric crematorium at the Dayanand Ghat mukti dham inside the Lodhi crematorium.
Teary-eyed family members hugged and consoled each other while some in the crowd, standing at a distance, narrated Singh's famous anecdotes and quotes to each other, conscious not to laugh out loud as they recalled Singh's witty writings.
The fact that even after his death, Khushwant Singh managed to bring a smile on the faces of those who came to grieve him is a fitting tribute to the man who taught people, especially Indians how to laugh at themselves.