Saturday, January 28, 2006

Tribute

ਰਾਣਾ ਰਾਉ ਨ ਕੋ ਰਹੈ ਰੰਗੁ ਨ ਤੁੰਗੁ ਫਕੀਰੁ ॥
Guru Nanak Dev Ji, Raag Raamkalee, Ang 936

My father passed away in the early hours of Tues morning, 17th January 2006 at the age of 101 years. He was well known by all the grandchildren as "Baba Ji". The frequent cries (he was hard of hearing) "Sat Siri Akal Babaji!" by the grandchildren are no more. The void he leaves behind cannot be bridged, nor can we forget all that he has done for the family and community.

Born in Salempur, Jallandhar, he worked with the railways until he migrated to Tanzania (East Africa) in the early fifties. He was a prominent member of a thriving Sikh community there, especially active in promoting sikhism, gurbani and Punjabi. His discipline and dedication to reciting gurbani was immense. His daily nitnem (from memory, without gutka) included Asa Di Aaar, Sukhmani Sahib and Full Anand Sahib.

Our father was a pillar of strength, well known for his physical strength and fearless character. I remember clearly an incident about 5 years ago which illustrates his "tyar bar tyar" character. At that time he wasn't able to walk very well because of his knees, but on this sunny afternoon he insisted on going out. Knowing there was no stopping him once he had made up his mind, I decided to follow him at a discreet distance just in case he needed help. I had been following him for about five minutes when he suddenly swung his walking stick over his head backwards (must be a gakta move) and nearly knocked me down.

Afterwords I realised my shadow must have given me away, and he decided to deal with things in his own way. And this is when he was in his mid-nineties, hardly able to walk, with extremely poor eyesight!


Very few relatives of my fathers generation are still alive - with his passing away it feels like the end of an era. The most fitting tribute would be if I were to learn from his life, try and take on board some of the amazing qualities he had and become a better human being as a result.

13 comments:

ਿੲਕ ਿਸੰਘ said...

Sat Nam! my first reaction after reading this post was "WOW! you're so lucky to have had him as your father. and the time you guys spent together."

i offer our deepest condolences to you and your family. it's going to take great strength to fill that void with happiness of his memories. our prayers are with you and your family.

Manvir Singh Khalsa said...

Sat Naam! Very lucky to have a father like that. I am sure it is painful to have such a great loss. May Waheguru bless the whole family with ability to accept His Will sweetly and live life being inspired the positive qualities your father showed and lived.

Rab Rakha.

Sikhi Seeker said...

Satnam Waheguru. So sorry to hear about your loss. Babaji, as you talk of him, seems to be a wonderful spirit that tread this world. He must be in Satguru's great care. He must be proud of you and all the grandchildren who share and promote the same love. I hope Waheguru gives you and your family strength to cope with his physical absence.
You'll be in my thoughts and prayers. Satnam!

satvinder said...

MS Veer Ji

I'm sorry to hear about your loss. Must be really tough to lose a parent. From the story you tell it seems he was quite an active gentleman who had lived a full life. May Waheguru ji bless the family with strength and courage to accept his bhana and may he keep all those precious happy memories alive in your heart.

msingh said...

Thank you for your sympathy, kind thoughts and prayers. And apologies for my slow response to many of your comments on my other posts over recent weeks.

Waheguru

S.K. said...

Dearest Veerji,

Your father sounds like he not only lived a full and wonderful life, but made sure he spread his happiness and gyaan to all those around him. May Guroo Ji bless you with strength and understanding during this time. May your father be lovingly placed at his charna.

To high spirits...

ss said...

MSingh Ji - my deepest condolences.

Baba Ji does sound like an amazing man and your description reminds me of my own Baba Ji.

I hoep you and your family are doing as well as possible in such a situation.

Waheguru and Rab Rakha.

Preet said...

Paaji, what a lucky guy you are to have a karate kid father! (or is it gatka kid!?) He sounds like a great man.
MSingh Ji, he is still with you...and all his grandchildren.

msingh said...

Once again my sincere thanks for your kind thoughts and prayers to all of you.

I hope to be able to start commenting on your blogs soon.

Waheguru

topaz said...

I am sorry for your loss.
But 101? What a super age!

SikhsRus said...

Msingh Veer,

I am really sorry to hear about father's loss. Waheguru really blessed him with a long age! May Waheguru give you and family the strength to cope! Our prayers and thoughts are with you.

Dr Savi Arora said...

Really sorry to hear about your loss. Sounds like he was a great pioneer of our time with strength and commitment.
His imprint on your life is something I'm sure you will treasure.
Sincere sympathesis

H said...

Sorry to hear that singh ji, you should have mentioned when I met you on sikhi week!!!

I know how it feels, but its all part of the will.

Stay strong and if you need anything, we are here for you.

Himmat