avm manjit

OUR ELDEST BROTHER : AVM MANJIT SINGH

This is a brief account of the life of our eldest brother, AVM Manjit Singh who took the long road to nowhere on 09 Dec 2019. He went in a manner in which many elderly people would like to go, if they had a choice. Born on 10 Nov 1934, he was nearly seven years older than me. We were four brothers, and I find it convenient to tell the first part of the story in pictures. My earliest memories date back to 1947, which was the year of our independence. However, during my childhood, it was more often referred to as ‘Partition’. Of the other two brothers, Manmohan (1937-2007) was four years older than me and the youngest; Surinder is three years junior to me.

kaka majit peshawar

Our father, Maj Balwant Singh ji was a teacher when this picture was taken.

surjit family photo

When Dad joined Army, he carried this photograph with him. I am told that this picture needed many retakes, because it was difficult to make me sit still. Notice, that my left foot is in motion.

1945

Dec 1945. The war had ended, and Surinder had arrived to complete our ‘foursome’

1948

This dates back to 1948. Our eldest brother and I are seen with a neighbour

*

It is now time to begin the story in words. Manjit was addressed as ‘vade virji’ by us, and he ruled the roost. Manmohan was ‘chhote virji’ and the younger two had no title. There was one room for the children, in which Surinder and I slept on a single bed. Strict discipline was maintained by the eldest brother, but in turn, he ‘protected’ us if we got into a brawl with other children on the sports field.

I must hasten to add that we were in awe of Manjit ji. He was brilliant in studies, and was endowed with many talents. He could sing, play several musical instruments and make pencil sketches. In parties, he used to play the mouth organ so well that there was a demand for ‘encore’ quite often. He was a natural leader on the sports field.

 He lost a year during the partition. He had to switch over from Urdu to Hindi, and adapt to the unfamiliar syllabus of the UP Board. Despite all these problems, he surprised everyone by standing first in Dehradun district in the High School examination. He was ranked 13th in the Board and was awarded a merit scholarship. Two years down the line he was admitted into the newly created IIT Kharagpur, and there also he won a scholarship. By all standards, he had set the bar uncomfortably high for the rest of us.

We learnt several things from him. He showed us how to work smart, and simultaneously manage time. We saw how he made friends and influenced people. He was an avid reader, and kept up with Urdu poetry. As for the three of us, there was no choice but to score high marks in Mathematics and Physics. In 1955, here is what we looked like:

IIT Kharagpur

The elder two were in IIT Kharagpur with only the younger two of us at home

1975

This picture taken in 1975, has all the nine grandchildren of our parents in one frame

*

In 1953, the elder two had gone away, and Surinder and I were left alone. Before I recount the rest of the story, permit me to share a quip. In 1949, on a cold December night, our eldest brother was preparing for his examinations, while the rest of us were lying, cozy in our quilts. Suddenly, the ink in Manjit’s pen ran out. He commanded Surinder to get up and fetch the bottle from our father’s room. Surinder told him that it was too cold for him to get out of the bed. He received a scolding, and when he dithered for the third time, the elder brother issued a threat, “Will you get up or do I have to get up and slap you?” The five-odd year old Surinder had the gumption to say something which the family has not forgotten even today. In a meek and submissive voice, he said, “Virji, when you get up to slap me, please fetch the ink bottle, also!”

*

Part Two : The Twilight of our Lives

In 1953, he went away to Kharagpur, and four years later, I joined the National Defence Academy. During the next fifty odd years we met only during family gatherings. Manjit ji retired and settled down in Chandigarh in 1992, but I took up a job after retirement , and remained active even after that for a few more years. Eventually, in 2008 I shifted to Chandigarh. Our houses are only about one kilometer apart, and so we met quite often.

Then, in 2014, our sister-in-law passed away. That was a big blow for Virji. It took him well over a year to regain equanimity. He took to reading, and spent many hours, trying to understand the ‘meaning of life’. He had a flair for writing, and he published five short books. His style is unique. Most of his writings are in the form of a communication with the reader. At no point did he ever criticize anyone, and there is no bitterness of any sort.

Once again, he assumed the role of a mentor. But this time, he had mellowed down. He never raised his voice, and did not mind, if I disagreed with him. If ever I asked him too many questions, his favourite method of putting an end to the ‘guftagu’ was to say, “I have already told you more than what I know on this subject!”

Slowly, but surely, he attained a state of ‘nirvana’ and even ‘moksha’. He had learned the fine art of growing old gracefully. He usually got up early, dressed up meticulously and went for a walk to the famous “Terraced Garden” which is located 500 meters from his house. He had a full time nurse, who accompanied him. And in the garden, he had many friends to greet him. During the last few years, he stopped going to doctors. No more tests and minimum medication. He told me that these pathological tests cause tension and lead to needless medication. Once he told me, “There is no medicine in the world that has no side effect; and there are some, which only have ‘side’ effects!”

 On the last day of his life, he got up as usual, and had gone out for his daily walk in the garden, when death knocked at his door. His nurse, Rekha Khan, helped him to sit down on a bench and he said a silent good bye to his favourite flowers. He did not want to be a burden on any one, and his ultimate wish was fulfilled.

I made a brief summary of what I learnt during the last few years, and I am tempted to share it with my friends. During our childhood, he taught me how to face the challenges posed by life, and in the end he revealed the secret of growing old gracefully.

*

Maxims for Aging with Grace

Your body will become frail, with each passing year. Accept this fact, with grace. Slow down your pace of walking, as well as the other activities, consciously.

Pain in the knees, shoulders, neck or lower back is an integral part of old age. You have to learn to live with them. By all means, go to the doctors, but avoid unnecessary tests. Ever so often, you gain more from the fellow patients in the waiting room than the physicians!

The eyesight will deteriorate, and the teeth will decay when the hair turn grey. Remember the adage, “Pain is inevitable; but the suffering is optional”

Daphne Du Maurier wrote, “The point is, life has to be endured, and lived. But how to live it is the problem.”

Some days are good; others are not. You need those bad days, to help you appreciate the good ones!

The physicians have devised a lot of tests. The blood test itself runs into several pages. Sometimes, these tests turn into a malady, and add to the list of drugs. Nearly every pill has side effects. Keep the medicines to a minimum. A very learned ‘guru’ told his disciples:

“If you fall sick, go to a doctor, so that he  may live. Then, buy the prescribed medicines so that the Chemist may live. Back home, throw the medicines away, so that you may live!”

*

Do not compete or even compare with your peers. Your race is over. Now, time has come for you to sit back, and be a worthy spectator.

Wise persons keep their expectations low. Indeed, if you expect nothing, you will never be disappointed.

The man called ‘Ajit’, whom you met today, is not the ‘Ajit’ who was your colleague, in service. The visible similarity between the two is an illusion. If you did ‘Ajit’ a favour as his ‘boss’, then chances are that he will avoid meeting you, for reasons that are understandable.

Dis-remember your rank and military awards. You are allowed to write them with your name, but do not let them weigh on you.

Choose your company with due care and avoid getting into argument, especially when the discussion is on politics or religion.

If you are sucked into a position where you are required to manage funds collected from public, be completely transparent. Indeed, you must not clamor or vie for such posts after a particular age.

If you are invited to attend a function, do not covet a ‘VIP’ seat.

*

Be particularly careful when speaking to younger people. They are much better informed than you were at their age. Remember, they have a ‘smart phone’ with which they can check out facts and figures even before you can blink your eyelids.

Avoid giving unsolicited advice. But, if a younger person reaches out to seek your opinion, do give him the benefit of your knowledge. But having spoken ‘the words of wisdom’ do not waste your time, trying to check whether he accepted your sage counsel.

Do not be upset with the way your grandchildren dress, eat or party. Remember, when we broke the customs prevailing fifty years ago, and our elders chided us, we did not like it!

The elders have a compulsive tendency to repeat, and the younger people detest having to listen to what they have heard ‘a hundred times’.

Many old people are “I” specialists. They are never tired of talking about their ‘achievements’ and most often, these accounts are exaggerated. The ‘commanders’ forget that the battles were actually won by the unknown soldiers, who received very little in return for their sacrifice.

*

Finally, be prepared for the inevitable end. Unfortunate people, who fear death, die many times before the inevitable end. Just remember that death ends suffering. Have you ever seen pain or anxiety on the face of a person who has stopped breathing? Yet, while alive, we must pass through all stages, good or evil.

I end this piece with two poems; the first is from Gurudev Tagore, and the other from Ghalib.

 

“On the day when death will knock at thy door what wilt thou offer to him?

Oh, I will set before my guest the full vessel of my life—I will never let him go with empty hands.

All the sweet vintage of all my autumn days and summer nights, all the earnings and gleanings of my busy life will I place before him at the close of my days when death will knock at my door.”

 

And Mirza ‘Asad’ Ghalib had this to say:

ġham-e-hastī kā ‘asad’ kis se ho juz marg ilaaj

sham.a har rañg meñ jaltī hai sahar hote tak

O Asad! There is no remedy for the anguish of living except death

(But) A candle has to go through all the varied phases until the break of dawn

*

I end this story with a picture of AVM Manjit Singh with his wife, Bhajan

avm manjit and bhajan

 

 

 

  1. MAHI BHUSHAN JAUHARI says:

    A person should live and go the way AVM Manjeet Singh ji did. and everyone must have a younger brother like Gen Surjit Singh. The good thing is as a man ages he starts appreciating things which are really material instead of material things. Regards as always. Recently I shifted to Bareilly to be with my siblings in my silver years having given up salaried employment in jul 2019.

    • Surjit Singh says:

      Dear Mahi Bhushan,
      And every one should have a friend like MBJ!!!
      I am glad to learn that you have shifted to be with your brothers. You are on the “home turf’ now. Blood, they say, is thicker than water.
      Bareilly is a great place. At one time there were many army units there. It was the ‘home’ of ASC.
      God bless you and your kinsfolk.
      Surjit

  2. Arvinder Singh Chawla says:

    Respected Uncle jee,
    Satsriakal and thank you so much for your remembrance and kind blessings. Thanks to dear Jasdev jee for connecting us again, hope you are doing very well and keeping good health.
    I am extremely sorry to learn about AVM Manjeet uncle’s sad demise, I had the opportunity to meet him just one or two times at Manmohan uncles home in Mohali, what a wonderful & adoring person he was !! May Waheguru Almighty bless his noble soul and give strength to family to bear this great loss.
    Your posts are so loving and attractive to read, I had been missing them for some time, probably now on this email address, it would be my honour and pleasure to receive them again.
    With best wishes and kind regards,
    Arvinder

  3. Surinder Bir says:

    My dear Gen Surjit Sir
    Sat Sri Akal

    What a way to walk into eternity! Waheguru ji grants this honour of leaving this world the way your reverred elder brother, AVM MANJIT SIGH JI, did only to His chosen few noble souls. May his soul rest in peace

    You all certainly were Blessed to have had a good mentor in him. And, he too was privileged to have good siblings like you. I doubt if anyone other than you could sum up his whole life, from childhood to the final bow, highlighting his childhood, education, illustrious career and the strong familial bond in such a short write up. ਆਪ ਜੀ ਦੀ writing style ਦਾ ਸਾਣੀ ਨਹੀਂ। ਸਚੀ।

    The logic of Surinder to suggest to his eldest brother, VEER JI, when you get up to slap me, please fetch the ink bottle also” was so apt and conveyed volumes about the upbringing and the bond. What brains and fortitude to accept the elder brother’s slap.

    With warm regards,
    Surinder Bir

    • Surjit Singh says:

      Surinder Bir,
      Thanks. I am told that “The beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder”
      And in the Gurbani, we read that “Hira ratan jawahar hai…” Which roughly translates to “The diamond is invaluable, but without a customer, it is as worthless as a speck of dust”
      So, if there is any merit in what we have posted on the website, it is because of friends like you.
      As for our brother, he has left an indelible mark on the family. I had once written a piece inspired by him, entitled, “The Phook Theory” It has been published in many magazines. It gives me great pleasure to give you a link to that piece:

      https://amolak.in/web/phook-theory-and-the-holy-book/

      Wish you a Happy Lohri.
      Surjit
      PS
      Where are you settled? And do you ever come to Chandigarh?

  4. Jaskirat Singh says:

    RIP

  5. Manmohan Singh says:

    Surjit, that’s lovingest tribute to your elder brother. You have, indeed, been deeply attached to him. Your loss is thus much more than one can imagine.

    Surjit, permit me to start with a quote of French poet Shelly -
    “You left us without warning
    Gone so fast
    Now all we have are memories
    of your past.”
    Hence, l dare this little additon to your beautiful script. Manjit was blessed with a rare winsome personality, synonyms to his name! I remember my short meeting with him during his daughter Guni’s wedding. It has left an indelible impression of his warmth & closeness that lingers on even now. Alas, we had time to interact more!

    His book “Legacy of Elegance” makes a fantastic revelation. I wish to put it in his Grand Daughter, Gursimran’s words. “My Nana & Nani…..made my teenager self believe that true love like the novels exists in reality!” They were really made for each other.Their separation, after demise of Manjit’s better half, it appears, irked even Almighty so hard that He decided to reunite them swiftly in heaven. That’s why He lifted him from us so suddenly without any warning! This couple will remain a role model to all married ones – young or old.

    • Surjit Singh says:

      Sir,
      This is the ‘bestest’ compliment that I have received so far.
      I am now looking for an opportunity to share your picture and the splendid achievements of Mrs Manmohan. If you have any pictures of her lighting the Olympic Torch in 1960, do please send it to me.
      I do remember having been beaten by her on the Badminton court!
      Happy New Year
      Surjit & Surinder

  6. Air Mshl VM Khanna says:

    Touching tribute to a brother and a person who achieved heights without forgetting roots. Played his role well in all spheres of life. A great officer, mentor and finally guiding people through his writings.

    I also thought that you will write something about Phook Theory. However, he reminded me about Tagore’s poem – when death knocks on the door ……

    He has lived his life well. May His soul get the peaceful resting place.

    • Surjit Singh says:

      Dear Air Mshl Khanna,
      Thanks.
      Yes. “The Phook Theory” is an unforgettable contribution of our brother. I should have written about it.
      Regards,
      Surjit

  7. Brig Arun Mishra says:

    Dear Gen Sujit,
    We are sorry to hear of your loss. By your writing it is so apparant that you loved your brother deeply. You wrote from heart and so well that although I never met your brother yet your loss felt like my loss.

    Regards Arun

    • Surjit Singh says:

      Hi Arun,
      Thanks.
      Whenever I hear from you, your smiling face comes in front of me. I know many of your course-mates, and they say good things about you.
      Regards,
      Surjit

  8. Air Marshal Philip Rajkumar says:

    May AVM Manjit Singh’s soul rest in eternal peace. Sincere condolences to his family.
    PR.

  9. Air Marshal Nanda Cariappa says:

    I am saddened to learn of Manjit’s passing. We served together in 20 Sqn, but thereafter met infrequently. Just so happened that we were not either in the same Station or Command thereafter.
    May He rest in peace and his family be blessed with courage and strength to bear with this great loss.
    Om Shanthi
    Nanda Cariappa

  10. Brig Surinder Singh says:

    Dear Surjit,

    A flood of memories has been released by this tribute to our eldest sibling.He was an abundant source of joy and of constant inspiration. Gifted with talent, wit and sacrifice he could hold our family together with the glue of love and affection.

    Being the eldest, his influence extended way beyond our families…even the cousins from both fathers and mothers side held him in high esteem and looked up to him for guidance in their personal and professional matters.

    In all family gatherings he was the automatic master of ceremonies and he brought the best out of each and every one present. Melody came out of nowhere ..we all sang and danced ..even though he was the only one who had the skills in these fields.

    Upon my mind he had the greatest impact and I owe my smooth sailing in life to some very vital decisions taken with his assistance.

    May God bless his noble soul!

    • Surjit Singh says:

      Surinder,
      You have said it all!
      And as usual, you have said a lot in very few words.
      I think that before Veerj’s Barsi, we should produce one more piece on his inspiring life.
      And I think you should compile it.
      Surjit

  11. Brig PT Gangadharan says:

    Dear Sir,

    Went through the tribute and you really brought his life alive in us.May his soul rest in Heaven for ever.I have fwd the tribute
    to many of my friend and few may put their views in comments.
    In grief,
    Ganga

  12. Brig AK Adlakha says:

    Thanks for sharing.
    RIP, Bhai Sahib
    Anil and Sunita

  13. Maj Gen BK Bhatia says:

    Our prayers for eternal peace to the noble soul of your ejdest brother.

    God bless all.

    Basant & Naveen

  14. Manju Sipayya says:

    It was shared by AVM Chopra on Twitter. That was the inspiration to follow you.
    Masterpiece Sir
    Manju

    • Surjit Singh says:

      Dear Manju ji,
      I saw your profile on the Facebook.
      If I am not wrong, you have been a teacher for many years, and have retired now. If you write, please feel free to send us your pieces for our blog.
      Thanks for the kind words.
      Surjit

  15. Jagwant says:

    What a wonderful writeup for what a wonderful person.
    Regards
    Jog

  16. Dave Sood says:

    Dear Surjit,.

    AVM Manjit definitely left a mark on all his brothers.

    I have seen some of these pictures in your earlier writings. You have a unique family. All successful and still together.

    I wish if he could have read your tribute. It is written from the heart and is full of admiration.

    May God grant him Moksha,

    • Surjit Singh says:

      Dave,
      Thanks.
      Among our most prized possessions are some pictures of the family. Our father was a keen photographer, and some of his albums survived the partition, mercifully. Many of my friends remember the pictures more than the words I key in.
      In the scriptures, it is said, ‘ A picture tells a thousand words’
      Regards,
      Surjit

  17. Neena says:

    Dear Veerji

    Touched to read your loving obituary to Manjit Veerji. He was a noble soul and had mastered the art of living. Brilliant and disciplined, as you describe his journey, he was a role model for many.
    I came to know him through his son Gulzar who was my colleague in the Bank, and over the years, developed a rapport with him which went way beyond a professional relationship. He was like an elder brother, friend, philosopher and guide and I have fond memories of discussions with him on varied subjects.
    An enlightened soul he will always be with us in our hearts. He departed like a saint. May his soul rest in eternal peace. Fortitude to all family members to bear his physical absence.
    Fond regards,
    Neena

    • Surjit Singh says:

      Neena ji,
      Thanks. You are very kind with words.
      Whenever I get such messages, I am reminded of what your dear husband said of praise. He told us that if some one pays a compliment, he turns to him and says, “Sorry, I did not hear. Could you please say that again…and please speak a little louder!”
      Happy Lohri
      Surjit

  18. Prabal Sen says:

    A noble soul. Our deep felt condolences for the bereaved family.

  19. Jasdev says:

    Dear Dad ,

    The ability to write , as Shivi veerji puts it lessens the weight of the loss .

    I know you feel the loss of your brother, and putting it into your own unique way finds not just an expression of your grief but of the joys shared and memories built together for all is us.

    It’s rare of a family of four brothers to do so well and bonded so strongly – its a tribute to the upbringing Pitaji and Jhaiji…
    & the legacy of bhaia Ji .

    May they all live in our memories and good our actions and lead us to the right path .

    Love,
    Jasdev

    • Surjit Singh says:

      Jasdev,
      Thanks.
      Pitaji is a source of inspiration.
      But indeed, the life of our saintly grand father is a guiding light for all of us.
      May the Legacy go down to Tripti Samar Veer, their generation and beyond!
      Papa

  20. Cdr VK Jaitley says:

    Sad news Sir,

    MGGPDS (May God Give Peace to the Departed Soul)

    With Warm Regards,

    Commander VK Jaitly

  21. Nuri says:

    Surjit Chacha,

    A good summary of his very well lived life.
    Missing him more than anything I have ever lost!

    Thankyou
    Nuri

  22. Lt Gen Syed Ata Hasnain says:

    Sir,

    Our heartfelt regret and very deep condolences to you for this bereavement. An eldest brother is like a parent and no doubt you must be distraught with his loss.

    We pray for AVM Manjit Singh’s soul and also for you and the family to have the strength to bear this loss.

    In grief

    Ata Hasnain

    • Surjit Singh says:

      Thanks, Ata
      Your essays and TV interviews are always a treat to read and view.
      Keep them coming.
      We also pray that good sense should prevail. This senseless killing must end. Have you read the story of Harry Patch; the soldier who lived to the age of 111 yeare, 1 month and 11 days?
      He was a pacifist, who was conscripted during the First World War. He refused to kill, being a devout Christian!
      Surjit

  23. Air Commodore A Chhibbar says:

    Sir,
    May God bless the soul of AVM Manjit Singh. Our heartfelt condolences.

    Ashok Chhibbar

  24. Brig Narinder Sapra says:

    Dear Sir,
    Very sorry to learn about the sad demise of your dear brother.
    May God Almighty bestow peace to the departed soul and grant it peace in His Heavenly abode.
    You and all the members of his family can be rightly proud of his achievements.

    With heartfelt condolences.
    Sapras

  25. Col HS Bedi says:

    Dear Surjit ji,

    You have lost some one who must indeed have been a role model for you and your bothers. He set high standards in life which you have unfailingly followed. May Waheguru grant his soul eternal peace and you and your kinsfolk the fortitude to bear the great loss.

    I take this opportunity to also wish you, Surinder ji and the family all the best in the New Year.

    Sincerely,
    Harindar

    • Surjit Singh says:

      Harindar ji,
      Thanks.
      And we look forward to meeting you.
      We invite you to visit us on your way to your school in Sanawar. I go there whenever we go to Kasauli.
      Surjit

  26. Air Marshal Dushyant Singh says:

    Sad to hear of sudden demise. RIP , May God give the family the strength to bear the loss
    Dusyant Singh

  27. Zal Kabraji says:

    My dear General,
    Thank you for sharing this about your very dear brother—–the AVM certainly had a glorious innings on this earh & you have detailed it very well—–may the good Lord bless his soul, always.
    Take this oppertunity to wish you & all your family—-a wonderful 2020 & beyond.
    Warm regards & wishes,
    Zal.

  28. Shivinder S Sindhu says:

    Chacha,

    Sat Siri Akal

    Indeed, it has been an irreplaceable loss. But by writing it all down, you have lessened the burden on our hearts. What more can one say, except that he was a noble soul.

    God bless his soul,

    Shivi

  29. PT Gangadharan says:

    Dear Sir,

    AVM Manjit Singh was a fine soldier and a gentleman.It’s only you can write a tribute to him with all reminiscences.I had never met him but have known him through you.I still remember his PHOOK THEORY. Padmaja remained in touch with him through face book.He introduced himself by giving your reference,because she had refused the friendship offer first.A very fine soul he departed to the heavenly abode for ever.

    Gangadharan PT

    • Surjit Singh says:

      Ganga,
      Yes. Our brother was active on the Facebook. I am glad to learn that you and Padmaja had ‘met’ him on that forum.
      God Bless, and Happy New Year
      Surjit

  30. Lt(IN) George Poonen says:

    Dear Surjit:

    Thank you for the wonderful write-up about your very talented brother and the beautiful pictures of your extended family. It is a shock when it happens so suddenly. But he had a fulfilling life.

    My heartfelt condolences to you and family.

    George and Karena

    • Surjit Singh says:

      Dear George and Kareena,
      Thanks fro your kind words.
      These days, we seem to be hearing about the demise of our course-mates and friends rather often. Just the other day, I was telling a friend, that we now receive very few invitations for marriages. Most often we are joining friends for the ‘antim ardas’ (prayer in the memory of a departed soul)
      Happy New Year
      Surjit

  31. Gulzar Singh says:

    Respected Chacha,

    Beautiful, truly.

    Thank you.

    I have read it many times now and cried with smiles each time.

    Grateful.

    Regards,

    Gulzar

  32. Susheel P Harchandrai says:

    Dear uncle,
    Thanks for sharing. God bless and wishing that his noble soul rest in eternal peace. Best wishes of the new years from all of us to all of you.
    Loves and warm regards always
    Susheel

  33. AVM RP Mishra says:

    Dear Gen Surjit, it was nice of you to write about your brother AVM Manjit. I remember once we met at Delhi airport when we both were going to Bangalore. We found the poet, Gulzar, sitting on some steps. We felt bad that a person of his stature sitting like this, so we went up to him, conveyed our feelings and had other small talks. It turned out that his village was same as yours.
    I propose to send Maxims for Ageing with grace to all my aged family members and those in mailing lists. Shall do it from Bangalore where we are going to this evening. Shall be there for four weeks.

    Regards
    Mishra

    • Surjit Singh says:

      Bhai Sahib,
      Thanks for your kind words.
      Manjit ji used to talk about you with a lot of love and affection. AM KS Bhatia also had a lot of kind words to say about you.
      Yes. I think the Manjit ji was able to collect a lot of wisdom for us elders. I think his message should be communicated to as many senior citizens as possible. You have done your bit!
      Surjit

  34. Gp Capt I.Jairath. says:

    God bless the departed Soul for heavenly peace. He will be always remembered for his goodness. A perfect soldier of IAF.
    I feel the great loss.

  35. Lt Gen AKS Chandele says:

    Well written, sir!
    Ajay

  36. Maj Gen PN Monga says:

    May The Departed Noble soul Rest in Peace..
    Such peaceful departures are envy of everyone… but only pious souls can attain it.
    RIP….

    with Best wishes,

    Maj Gen PN Monga
    (m) 8283825665

    • Surjit Singh says:

      Thanks, Monga.
      Amazing that we have not met. But I think one day, we will run into each other.
      Or maybe, Viren Bajaj will come and unite us again!
      Surjit

  37. Dr Maharaj Krishan Agarwal says:

    Dear Maj. Gen. Surjit Singh,

    I am sorry to learn from Prof. Kainth ( who was my class fellow at D.M. College, Moga) about the sad demise of AVM Manjit Singh. Manjit was my classmate at IIT kKharagpur, and was known for his wit and humour and skill at the game of carom. He rose to great height in life, earned his share of fame and glory, went on to write a few books, and came to acquire a saintly bent. Only last year, we had a get together at Delhi of 1957 batch of IITKgpians. His passing away soon after his birthday in November is a matter of shock.

    He was a noble person, and his departure would be missed by all who had the good fortune of knowing him. I pray for the peace of the departed soul, and fortitude for the kith and kin to bear the grievous loss. My deep condolence at this bereavement.

    Maharaj Krishan Agarwal,
    # 409, Sector 16, Panchkula

    • Surjit Singh says:

      Dear Bhai Sahib,
      We are glad to hear from you.
      We know a lot about IIT Kharagpur, since our brothers never tired of talking about the Institute. Later, when I visited KGP, and saw the Hijli Jail and the precincts, it seemed to me that I had lived there,myself,
      Look forward to meeting you. Can you give me your phone number?
      Surjit

  38. Yogi says:

    A tender tribute to an illustrious brother. Nostalgic and deeply touching. The Departed -Soul and I seem to share much on our philosophy of old-age viz. Being contented and at peace, with dignity and grace. Om Shanti.

    • Surjit Singh says:

      Dear General,
      Thanks for the kind words.
      We look forward to a piece from you on ‘growing old gracefully’
      I think it is natural to turn to spiritualism. Is it not?
      Surjit

  39. collskohli says:

    Memories last
    till one’s life time

    HUMBLE REMEMBRANCE
    DEAR Brother SURJIT JI AND FAMILY
    Colls

  40. Joseph Thomas says:

    “Virji, when you get up to slap me, please fetch the ink bottle, also!”

    Perfect logic !

    Privileged to have known AVM Manjit. May his soul rest in peace.

    The Phook theory is one of his legacies.

    • Surjit Singh says:

      Thanks.
      Yes. The term ‘Phook Theory’ coined by him has become a house-hold word! I think I should have talked about it in this tribute.
      But now you have done that!
      2997

  41. Brig Harikumar says:

    A great and Noble legacy to cherish. We wish to convey to the bereaved family our heartfelt condolences.

  42. HE WILL BE REMEMBERED FOR HIS NOBAL AND SIMPLE LIFE STYLE

    Such great Souls on Planet Earth are in great demand, even in The Heavens above!

    I Wish . . .

    If Tears Could Build A Stairway”

    If tears could build a stairway
    and memories were a lane
    We would walk right up to heaven
    And bring him back again.

    No farewell words were spoken
    No time to say goodbye
    He has gone before we knew it
    And only God knows why

    Our hearts still ache in sadness
    and secret tears still flow
    What it meant to lose him
    No one will ever know

    But now we know he want us
    To mourn for you no more
    To remember all the happy times
    Life still has much in store

    Since he’ll never be forgotten
    We pledge to him today
    A cherished place within our heart
    Is where he’ll always stay! My friend

    With Lots of Love n Affections for all members of the family. Jk & Lalit
    (Part of the Extended Family thru Our Dear Maj Gen Surjit Singh)

    • Surjit Singh says:

      JK
      What a lovely tribute…and what a lovely poem!
      We are proud to have you as a part of our immediate (and not ‘extended’) family.
      Happy Lohri.
      Surjit

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