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Prabhjyot Singh – A man in full!

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By ABHINAV KUMAR

This new year has begun on a tragic and traumatic note for many of us in Dehradun. Sardar Prabhjyot Singh, (Jyoti to his legion of friends) aged 57, was snatched cruelly from us after a massive heart attack. A prominent businessman of Dehradun from an old and respected family, he was a proud member of the Dosco fraternity, and a prominent figure in the vibrant social life of Dehradun. He leaves behind two elderly grieving parents, both in their nineties, a distraught wife Rosie, two shattered children and a daughter in law, and innumerable relatives and friends in a state of shock and utter disbelief. This is certainly not the Happy New Year any of us had hoped for!

My own acquaintance with him began in 1999 when I came to Dehradun on my first posting as the Assistant Superintendent of Police. Then as now, his family ran Perfection House, one of the few outlets for good quality branded clothes. Ever so often, while on my evening rounds, I would drop by to have a chat with him and his father. They always had their finger on the pulse of the city and always gave me useful feedback about anything that might be the subject of anxious chatter amongst the more well to do citizens of Dehradun. Over a period of time these evening encounters turned into a close friendship and we would meet with our families over a meal at least once a month.

If a man knew how to live life King size it was Jyoti Bhai. Riverstone Cottage is perhaps the most eloquent tribute to his zest for life. He first built a two bedroom cottage there to entertain friends on weekends or on festive occasions. Gradually he expanded the place till it became one of the true landmarks that defined the vibrant social life of Dehradun. This was not some impersonal inn or watering hole. This was a place marked by a very personal touch and careful attention to detail by Jyoti and Rosie. Thank you both for providing all of us with such a heart warming venue to create innumerable memories filled with laughter, dance and music.

Just a few days ago we had met over dinner at the Abhimanyu Cricket Academy with our daughters who overlapped briefly as students at Welham Girls. As we watched them laugh and dance together, he grabbed my hand and expressed his happiness and thanked God for his blessings. Now all I can do is wring my hands in despair and grief at his sudden and untimely departure. Thank you God for bringing this king size character in all our lives. I wished you hadn’t snatched him from us so soon….

(Abhinav Kumar is an IPS Officer of 1996 batch. He is presently posted as ADG Administration in the Police Headquarters. He is also Special Principal Secretary to the Chief Minister, Sports & Youth Welfare, Information & Public Relations, Govt of Uttarakhand. Prabhjyot Singh was Abhinav’s senior at The Doon School.)