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Forever Reaching For The Sky:
Malaysia's Sangat Singh

ROSALIA SCALIA

 

 

 

Buddha said, “Your work is to discover your world and then with all your heart give yourself to it.”

Sangat Singh, who is just shy of 80, a retired plantation manager in Malaysia, remains on a quest to discover the world, and true to Sikhi tenets, shares what he discovers with everyone, especially school children who come to what he affectionately calls “The Shack.”

The Shack is no ordinary shack.

The nerve center of Malaysia’s The National Planetarium in Kuala Lumpur, The Shack is actually a satellite station containing more than $50,000 of radio and computer equipment that he assembled and which allows him -- and through him, classes from various Malaysian elementary and high schools -- to talk to scientists and astronauts aboard the International Space Station during the seven minutes it shoots past the island nation.

At The Shack, Sangat can also receive and download telemetry and digital traffic and it acts like a celestial post box.

“Sometimes it is hard to understand the children’s accents, so we save time by emailing their questions to the astronauts ahead of time,” Sangat says, his voice filled with as much delight and joy as the students must feel after they pose their questions, say the requisite “over” into the radio mike, and then listen intently for the response to questions that range from how the space station functions, how the astronauts function in space, and what they miss most about earth.

Establishing The Shack proved a concrete example of Darwinism, its evolution beginning first with a single room filled with radio equipment, then computer equipment. Then Planetarium Agency director-general Professor Datuk Dr. Mazlan Othman supported the effort to further knowledge and public participation in space science.

“I was spending all my time there, and then Prof Mazlan suggested that we needed to add a bathroom, then after that came a kitchen to make tea and snacks,” Sangat says with a laugh.

Now The Shack is the backup satellite station for the one built on the U. of K.M. (Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia) campus at Bangi, and Sangat ended up being the only non PhD on Malaysia’s National Space Committee formed to share knowledge with, and give technical advice to schools and universities on how to establish their own satellite stations. “I was the one who knew the most about radio waves,” says Sangat, a longtime amateur radio hobbyist with a call sign of 9M2SS.

“I’m proud of Sangat and grateful he has brought the station to the heights it’s achieved. It’s the very best outcome of my efforts for space in Malaysia and the Planetarium is the next step,” says an e-mail from Dr. Othman, who is now the director of the United Nations Office for Outer Space in Vienna.

Being a pioneer is not a new role for Sangat.

Although he holds the distinction of being the first Sikh in Malaysia to have breached the tightly controlled and insular ranks of professional planters in1957 when he began his new career as a Cadet Planter at the Guthrie’s Siliau Estate in Siliau Malaysia, his first undertaking at breaching new territories came when he was 10 years old, “a voracious reader,” and at odds with the sole library in Lyallpur, now Fazilabad in post-Partition Pakistan.

“It was known as ‘The Coronation Library,’ and it treated children as a nuisance, not allowing them anywhere near the library, let alone in as members.”

For the 10-year-old Sangat, knowing that the library held books that he was not allowed access proved unimaginable, and he tenaciously pursued the library staff for membership, to the point approaching the Deputy Commissioner whose son was a classmate.

“In those colonial days, the Deputy Commissioner was treated like something of a god. The library staff never forgave my audacity but I was finally admitted as the youngest member of the library,” he says.

“They tried their best to be difficult --I was allowed one book per week. They also had a funny way of keeping members away from the book shelves. You had to choose the books remotely from the hand-written catalogue that was in the form of a journal and whatever the choice you made was final for the day, unless of course, the book was out, and then you a second chance.”

“This was my first real brush with bureaucracy,” he adds.

Undaunted, by age 12, Sangat worked his way through the entire story book shelf and began reading Freud’s Interpretations of Dream, which he initially mistook for a book on hypnotism. Nonetheless, he continued his habit of reading while doing mostly anything else, including walking.

Except when he was delving into photography.

“I started my career thinking I’d become a photographer,” Sangat said. Using a Kodak box camera, he began snapping photos -- some of which won national awards and recognitions -- and attached himself as an adolescent to a local photographer as a determined apprentice in his off hours from school.

“I did everything in that photography shop because I wanted to learn how to develop my own film,” he said.

The relationship proved fruitful, and Sangat excelled at what he thought would be his future profession.

Then came the Partition of Punjab and India and his forced relocation to Ludhiana on the Indian side of the divide where at age 19, he opened a photography shop with a partner.

“The problem was that I kept snapping photographs of my friends and giving them all away for free. My partner explained that we couldn’t run a business that way, and so I was out of the photography business,” he says.

Busted, armed with a bachelor of arts degree, and saddled with a non-descript job in Ahmedabad (Gujrat), Sangat experienced a chance meeting with S. Surjit Singh Bajaj who spotted him sitting in a quiet corner, of course, reading a book titled, Guru Nanak Chamatakar by Bhai Vir Singh. 

“He was rather surprised to see me reading such a serious treatise at a rather young age. A serious discussion ensued. I suspect he must have liked me and a week later a letter arrived with a prospect of a job in Singapore. That started the ball rolling: First I had to find a map to see the geographical position of Singapore. Finally -- it was in August 1954 -- I flew to Singapore in a Union of Burma Airways DC 3, a war time Dakota,” Sangat says.

In Singapore, he never let go of his photography obsession even as he embraced his duties in the textile business.

“I was about 28 years old in 1961 when I first remember him for his work in the background of Sikh youth organization, the Naujawan Sabha, in Malaysia and its activities in inculcating Sikh values in the lives of Sikh youth. Though other Sikh organizers worked in the forefront, he was always there to actively give his support and encouragement. He used to take photographs, and I remember him always in the background, never coming forward to try to lead,” says Dya Singh, a renowned singer/musician of Sikh mystical musical traditions. “I love the man! After a gap of 50 years I met him last year! Now I make it a point of meeting him whenever I come to Malaysia which is about 3 to 4 times a year. He has a lifetime of knowledge and experience and I find time spent with him of great benefit to my personal growth,” he adds.

Sangat diligently learned about cloths and dyes and selling textiles, but before long, grew bored. This prompted him to answer an employment ad for cadet planters.

“It required that I take a test. At the time, I didn’t know it was the British Civil Service test, but I took it and passed, and then went first for one, then two and three interviews, and I got the job.”

Sangat then began the task of learning the plantation estate business, from planting to managing, and then later cleared the requisite examinations to qualify as an Associate of the Incorporated Society of Planters (AISP), the coveted badge for a planter.

As he climbed the ranks, Sangat gained over the years the reputation as a problem-solver and the go-to person who could work successfully with difficult people.

“Many of the plantation managers gathered at a pub after a long day and drank til midnight. I went once and then realized that I had too much to do to while away the hours in a pub. I told them it was against my religion to drink, and thus for the next 40 years, I was spared the pub habit!” he says.

During this time, he married -- sight unseen -- Upkar Kaur, and together they raised four daughters as Sangat advanced, becoming the first Sikh in the region  to hold the rank of assistant manager and then full manager of any estate.

He eventually became the manager of the company’s gem plantation, an estate that grew three products -- rubber, palm oil and tea.

His insatiable curiosity about the world around him brought him into the realm of amateur radio. While traveling for estate business, Sangat heard a bit of a racket coming out of a friend’s house.

“I ended up talking to the guy and asked what the heck he was doing and he showed me -- an array of radios. I saw he was talking to people in the Middle East. I was mesmerized by what I saw and what he was doing!”

Hooked on amateur radio, Sangat returned home with the quest to learn everything he could about radio, radio waves. He took the licensing examinations and acquired a handle.

“You had to learn how to build and take apart a radio receiver and transmitter to pass the exam,” he says.

Fired up about this new endeavour, he hung antennas from the top of coconut trees on the estate to get a signal, not knowing that this new passion would -- in years to come -- be his entrée, prompting him to pioneer his unique role of surfing radio waves as a satellite station communicator in what still remains mankind’s newest frontier.

 

Please CLICK here to watch VIDEO of S. Sangat Singh in The Shack.

December 17, 2012


 

Conversation about this article

1: Jagjeet Kaur Singh  (Petaling Jaya, Malaysia), December 17, 2012, 9:00 AM.

Wow! What a good and enjoyable read about this 80-year-old who lives in our midst with so many accomplishments, yet so full of humility. Thank you, Rosalia Scalia, for tracing the development of his career and how he stepped foot into this country. Although we think we know him in person, I now realize we know very little of him. Thank you for sharing with us his his background and how he came to where he is now! We know Sangat Singh as a polished gentleman of high literary standing. An avid reader ... just talk to him on any topic and/or religion and you will be amazed with his knowledge. Besides, he is always seen with his equipment to snap photos at all family and friends' events. He is not often the image in the pictures but makes others his images as this is his other passion. The family and country are blessed to have Sangat Singh in the Planetarium for his thirst and love for Space and Science is infectious as can be seen in the video clip. Many have benefited because Sangat has made a mark in their lives! Sangat, we are proud of your achievements and your dedication to whatever you are involved in. I feel blessed to have known him for all these years as he has certainly won my respect! Congratulations, Sangat Singh, yes, the title is apt as you have indeed reached for the stars and the sky - you are a truly learned and literary man with a great thirst for knowledge!

2: Simran Gupta (Kolkata, India), December 17, 2012, 9:40 AM.

I have only one thing to say: that I am so proud to be his daughter.

3: Gurbux Singh (Chatsworth, California, USA), December 17, 2012, 11:12 AM.

Here is a gentleman who is the epitome of humility and a treasure trove of knowledge. I am honored to say that I am blessed to know him and enjoyed very much the concoctions he created in his kitchen to share with me. Of course, as a fellow amateur radio operator, I share his hobby ... he does yeoman work reaching for the stars and sky. [W6BUX]

4: Sarjit Kaur (Bethel Park, Pennsylvania, U.S.A.), December 17, 2012, 3:00 PM.

I am very grateful for the link to Guru Nanak Chamatkar, and Sri Kalgidhar Chamatkar ... and wonder if there is a link to similar volumes on our Gurus in other roops? I had imagined S. Sangat Singh ji to be in 5K bana, after he took the time to message link to me, but now I know :) - I am curious to know if along with his wit in picking up any skill so well, does he have a unique Sikh spiritual insight to share too?

5: Dya Singh (Australia), December 17, 2012, 3:31 PM.

I consider it a privilege to know Sangat Singh ji. There are a number of other 'Sangat Singhs' in Malaysia - so he is either referred to as Ham Radio Sangat Singh or 'Spaceman' Sangat Singh! The man exudes love. There is an eternal smile on his radiant face. And why not. It is said that a man of God and one who 'lives' in Sikhi is always in Chardi Kala. If you want to truly experience a hug, hug Sangat Singh. It is not only a fact that he can give an educated opinion on almost any topic, including any aspect of Sikhi or gurbani, but he also exudes spirituality. I have experienced the 'touch' of Sant Baba Sohan Singh ji of Malaysia and I have experienced the touch of S. Sangat Singh ji. Sangat Singh ji, may you touch many many more lives, my dear friend. Kudos to Rosalia for a lovely, warm article doing credit to this warm, affectionate man.

6: Avril Thomas (Australia), December 17, 2012, 4:05 PM.

Simran, I am proud to know him too. Your father is truly a remarkable man. He worked with my father years ago on Sua Betong Estate. I have photos taken by him 50+ yrs ago of me as a small girl. I remember many a night with Sangat and my father developing photographs in a dark room. My parents were both very fond of him, and he held a special place in our lives. By sheer chance/luck, my sister and I reconnected with him (thanks to the web) just prior to my one and only visit back to Malaysia after leaving 40 yrs ago (I would only go with a sibling). Quite an emotional trip revisiting the past. Three of our children were able to come with us. Sangat was amazing! He has the most extraordinary memory and he kept us spellbound with his stories of the past. Quite the story teller ... he has some ripping yarns and a wonderful sense of humour. Our children (born in Australia) were quite young when my parents died so to hear firsthand from someone who was there, what a different and extraordinary life we all once had ... pure gold! If my father was still alive to read this article he would not be at all surprised that Sangat would reach the stars.

7: Baldev Singh (Bradford, United Kingdom), December 17, 2012, 4:33 PM.

Great insight into the life of this great Sikh man by an excellent writer.

8: Harinder Pal Singh (Patiala, Punjab), December 17, 2012, 6:50 PM.

Powerhouse of knowledge who inspired me to incorporate religion and it's values in science too. A delightful role model. Makes me proud to be one of his favoured nephews!

9: Inni Kaur (Fairfield, Connecticut, USA), December 17, 2012, 7:32 PM.

Thank you, Rosalia, for introducing us to the many facets of Sangat Singh. Inspiring ...

10: Jaideep Singh (Sydney, Australia), December 17, 2012, 8:01 PM.

Thank you, Rosalia, for your wonderful write-up. Though I call him 'Uncle ji', he is really my godfather, my spiritual teacher, a guiding angel and much much more to me, (not to mention my father's best buddy of more than 50 years). Thank you, Uncle ji, for sharing your immense knowledge of gurbani, for providing inspiration and showing us the true meaning of Sikh teachings and way of life. I consider myself blessed to have you in my life. Proud to be your son.

11: Sanjeev Ravinder (Petaling Jaya, Malaysia), December 17, 2012, 8:46 PM.

S. Sangat Singh ji is a great man whom I've personally met on a few occasions and have been to his private office in the Planetarium in Kuala Lumpur. I was there during the day of an eclipse last year with hundreds of people who were treating him with great respect and honour. As a fourteen-year-old lad, I was awed by this remarkable man who never boasts and is unbelievably modest, considering the achievements that he has accomplished in his 80 years. I notice that he is an extremely simple, down-to-earth practical man. I'm proud to have him as my granduncle. He is certainly my role model.

12: Harbir Grewal  (Auckland, New Zealand ), December 18, 2012, 10:24 AM.

I call him Papa and my kids call him Nanaji. We are indeed blessed to have him as our dad. He and mummy have instilled values in us that we will carry to our future generations. We are immensely proud of his achievements and yet he's ever so humble. Thank you, papa. Love you.

13: Harinder Singh 1469 (New Delhi, India), December 18, 2012, 12:25 PM.

'Humble' is the word. After meeting and learning from such personalities, one can succeed in any field with sure shot success. Nothing to beat a solid value system ... and reading worthwhile books.

14: Harpreet Makkar (Brampton, Ontario, Canada), December 18, 2012, 2:00 PM.

Ah-h ... my eyes are welled up after reading this article and the comments above. I wish I could tell Sangat Uncle how much his childhood friend (and my dad) respects him and looks up to him. I also wish that dad could read this article and comments, but for his failing eyesight. Well, I have grown up listening to stories and anecdotes from my dad about himself, Sangat Uncle and IJ Uncle (Jaideep's dad) during their school and college days in Ludhiana. There are too many of them to be reproduced here. I have the first memory of having met Sangat Uncle at our place in Ludhiana some time in 1983 and he has been showering his love and blessings upon me since. I owe my love for photography to him and he brought my first SLR from Malaysia. As dad says, he is Bill Gates of yore; was never interested in the structured school curriculum and barely passed his FA exams. Nevertheless he must have read 100 times more books than a Ph.D. and is a treasure trove of knowledge. You can have a meaningful conversation with him on any topic and you'll be surprised at the insight he has on things. I can go on and on, but that would not remain a 'comment' any more. Thank you, Sangat Uncle, for all your love. God bless you with a long, happy and healthy life!

15: Ari Singh (Sofia, Bulgaria), December 18, 2012, 3:28 PM.

Thank you, Rosalia and sikhchic.com for revealing our gems who would have gone unnoticed otherwise.

16: Simran Grewal (Dunedin, New Zealand), December 18, 2012, 3:38 PM.

Thank you, Rosalia, for writing such a beautiful piece on a great person whom I'm privileged to call Nanaji. Nanaji is a very humble character and many of these achievements is news to me. Thank you for the recognition. On behalf of the grandchildren, we are proud of your many achievements. We strive to make you proud and you have always had a place in all of our successes. We all love you dearly. I think this article failed to mention us and how fond we all are of you. I look forward to seeing you very soon, Nanaji, and perhaps discovering more of you.

17: Satpal Singh (Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia), December 18, 2012, 9:20 PM.

Daddy Cool, Daddy-O.

18: Vimaljit Kaur Sangat Singh (Seremban. Malaysia), December 18, 2012, 10:45 PM.

We are truly blessed having a wonderful, loving and caring dad/grandpa like you. We couldn't have asked God for a better one ever! We love you, papa/nanna.

19: Sukhindarpal Singh (Peneng, Malaysia), December 19, 2012, 4:54 AM.

"vich sangat har prabh vassey jio" - Bhai Sahib ji is a one-man-congregation. I am taking my princesses to see Bhai Sahib ji at Petrosains as soon as possible.

20: Jasjit Grewal (Auckland, New Zealand), December 19, 2012, 5:50 AM.

An excellent article for a great man I am privileged to call my grandfather (Nanaji). Ever since I was a young boy, Nanaji would always shower us with his knowledge and kind-hearted spirit. There are countless other examples of Nanaji's knowledge, such as his general handyman skills - for example, today he fixed the shower, armed with just his toolbox and a small torchlight! The best thing is that Nanaji's talents aren't just shown in his technical skills! His writing is beautiful and I aspire to be able to write as well as him one day. Also, how many people can have two successful careers in completely different fields?! I am very privileged to be living with him and his lovely wife (whom I affectionately call "Nani-ma") at the moment and even more so to have them present in my life, and having their values being instilled in us. We are very proud of you, Nanaji, and thank you, Rosalia, for writing such a lovely piece.

21: Stacie Mendoza (Baltimore, Maryland, USA), December 19, 2012, 6:18 AM.

This is a great contribution to a great man who obviously was an inspiration to so many. He worked hard to discover his world and really put all his heart into it. I'm very inspired!

22: Karen Mahoney (Maryland, USA), December 19, 2012, 7:13 AM.

Most informative reading! Rosalia must teach me (in person!) about the history of Malaysia as she knows it. Would love to visit "The Shack" and to meet this most learned, humble man.

23: Prakash Pednekar (Puchong, Malaysai), December 19, 2012, 7:55 AM.

I know S. Sangat Singh ji since last year and I can proudly say that he is the best person I have ever met. He is a true Sikh and a down-to-earth person. May God always give him good health.

24: Ajeet and Dipa (Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia), December 19, 2012, 4:43 PM.

Every major event in our family must be blessed with ardaas by our dear Papa. We have been taught so many valuable lessons directly and indirectly from Nanaji and our dear Papa. We are truly blessed. We love you lots.

25: Roshan, Kabir and Mira  (Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia), December 19, 2012, 4:50 PM.

We are so happy and proud to see this article. We love you a lot, Nanaji.

26: Manjeet Singh (Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia), December 20, 2012, 3:59 AM.

I met Sangat ji about 10 years ago. He is a satsangi and we share a mutual interest in gurbani. Sangat is very well read but most unassuming and humble. He is a walking encylopaedia on the works of Bhai Vir Singh and Sikh lore. It is a pleasure to have his sangat. He has an extremely sharp memory. I enjoy his company immensely. Each time I sit with him I am enriched by some insight into some 'tuk' of gurbani or some saakhi connected with the lives of the Gurus. Once in the Kelana Jaya class we were discussing Sheikh Farid ji's saloks regarding old age. "sirr paleya darhi palhi mucchha bhi paleyaan ...," when a young satsangi, Harjit Singh, posed a question. "Old age affects everybody. How come Uncle Sangat is always so fresh and alert?" Before I could give an answer, about 10-12 members of the sangat quoted as if in unison: "gurmukh budhay kaday nahin". Sangat ji is a dear friend and satsangi. I have gained tremendously by knowing him.

27: Dr K N Singh (Malaysia), December 20, 2012, 5:33 AM.

Sangat has always been different. He has helped so many to learn the Amateur Radio hobby. Remarkable man and a remarkable Sikh. Knowing him personally is a privilege and an honor. We are all planning a century party for him as I know he will go on and on. Good for you, Sangat.

28: Sangat Singh (Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia), December 21, 2012, 5:07 PM.

The first ever transmission of Morse Code in 1836 by the inventor Samuel Morse was "What Hath God Wrought?" This message was sent from Washington to Baltimore. Now Rosalia of Baltimore hath wrought a surfeit of dubious accolades that could kill me. I feel humbled. If anything, it is "Nanos gigantum humeris insidenies" or, simply, "Standing on the shoulders of giants". To list those gentle shoulders would make a sizeable comment. Perhaps another post after the dust settles down, to list the people who influenced me. They are the ones who rightly deserve the paen of praise.

29: Dr. H. K. Virik (Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia), December 22, 2012, 2:58 AM.

What a roller coaster career! You have not only opened many doors, but you have walked through them with great aplomb. You have left us all far behind. Incredible memory and brain which you have utilized to full capacity. A shining example to the entire panth. We are all very proud to come to know you. God bless you.

30: Paramjit Singh Grewal (Auckland, New Zealand), December 23, 2012, 1:48 PM.

Thank you very much, Rosalia, for a beautiful article on my father-in-law. Papa is a very humble person and it showed in all the dealings my own family has had with Papa and Mummyji. We appreciate the guidance you have given us. Keep up with contributions - much appreciated.

31: Harjit Singh (USJ 16, Selangor, Malaysia), December 23, 2012, 8:32 PM.

I have no words for Uncle Sangat ji ... I think the article did injustice, as it is only one page long! Uncle Sangat ji is a walking book. At almost 80, you are still so sharp as ever! He has been, is, and will continue to be an inspiration to all of us.

32: Dr Trilochan Kaur (Malaysia), December 24, 2012, 7:13 AM.

He is very well versed in bani. I went to his place about 25 years ago to do simran and was there for a week. That's how I got started on simran. From time to time he has been further enriching my knowledge of bani. And he has enriched my knowledge of Bhai Vir Singh ji's writings. He has a wonderful wife and four adorable daughters. Well done. God bless you with a long life so that you can help us more.

33: Sarjit Kaur (Bethel Park, Pennsylvania, USA ), December 24, 2012, 9:43 AM.

Sangat ji is very blessed with Waheguru's love and so many gifts ... but, most importantly, Bhai Vir Singh ji's books about our beloved Gurus to share. Please do tell if you have more links to share, ji.

34: Dr Virinder Dhillon  (United Kingdom), December 25, 2012, 5:10 PM.

All I is can say is WOW! I've always had great respect for all your wisdom, humility and lively spirit, but I learnt so much about you in this article, which I never knew before. I am in awe of your remarkable accomplishments. Yet your being one of the nicest people I know. I consider myself very fortunate to know you. What a great article to usher in the new year! Happy New Year, Uncle Sangat ji!

35: Dr Mohinder & Dr Baljit Singh (Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia ), December 30, 2012, 7:21 AM.

Sangat Singh is really into all trades and amazingly a master of all. We have been very fortunate to have known him. We are forever grateful to him for inspiring us with his knowledge of gurbani. We always learn something new each time we meet him and he is ever ready to share his knowledge. May Waheguru bless him with many more years of a fruitful and joyous life.

36: Tan Sri Dato Ajit Singh  (Shah Alam, Malaysia), January 01, 2013, 5:22 AM.

Accolades keep falling like April showers on Sangat ji, with each wave lifting another veil from the anonymity he so jealously guards. The more he demurs or protests, the more apparent it becomes, that behind all this humility is a wondrous and a lovable character that you cannot have enough of. My personal association with him may not be as long or intimate or personal as the others who have written in but the moment we met a couple of years ago at Manjit ji's vichaar sessions on gurbani, I felt that I had known him from way back yonder. Such is his lovable and infectious nature! I have had the privilege to break bread, with chapattis, daal, saag, gunddey and green mirch with him many a time in The Shack since then and there has never been a dull moment. At his age, he shows remarkable energy. Given his vast experience as an amateur ham operator, he has been retained by the Government to look after the Micro-satellite Ground Station from the little Shack where he even holds classes for engineers and aspiring astronauts. A wee little bird told me that he has even helped our aspiring astronauts and their boss pass their morse code exams! I am sure that what we have heard so far could be just the tip of the iceberg. What I do know is that he is not just reaching for the sky, he is already in the cosmos, in a manner of speaking.

37: Kishen Singh Radhakrishna (Malaysia ), January 07, 2013, 7:36 AM.

Such a wonderful description of my Nanaji. I'm delighted you have accomplished so much greatness in life. Thank you, Nanaji, for your constant pleas to read, which have helped us all tremendously. I love you a lot, Nanaji, and God bless.

38: Prof. Datuk Dr. Mazlan Othman  (Vienna, Austria ), January 11, 2013, 3:22 AM.

Sangat was responsible for training the first lot of A lincensees at the then BAKSA. Always enterprising and trying to save costs for me, he threw together wood, brass and battery to serve as Morse code Key. I treasure mine until today. I would like to add that I was the best Morse code student because I learnt things by heart, like I do songs (and I did earn a very small living as a singer almost four decades ago). To ensure we stayed awake and motivated, he had his wife, Upkar, provide us chapati and curry. In any case, the food coming out of his kitchen is legendary - my daughter Elida still considers his maggi mee the best in the world and his yogurts are to die for. The station is what it is today only because of Sangat's love, commitment and devotion, not only to ham radio but the people around him. He has inspired at least three generations of people. Now, if we could keep it going until my grandson Connor visits, we'll have a record on my side of the family!

39: A D Singh (Gurgaon, India), January 17, 2013, 4:54 AM.

First it was photography, then came plantation of palm, rubber and tea, then Ham Radio, then The Shack -- no matter what he was into, he never abandoned any subjects and interests, and he remained deeply connected with his religion. How can I ever forget the role modal who has shaped my life by being a constant guide and a friend to me? Thank you, Mama ji.

40: Geetika Singh (Singapore), January 17, 2013, 4:57 AM.

Uncle, I knew of you and then we met and I got to know you just a little bit. Thanks to Rosalia, I know you a little better now! Half a day spent at lunch and at The Shack were truly amazing and memorable. Thank you for your generosity. Hope you write your biography, for a single article can do no justice to your life and achievements. Proud and honoured to have met you.

41: AmyYawanarajah (Seremban, Negeri Sembilan, Malaysia), March 18, 2013, 8:53 PM.

Wow! You are really something, Sangat.I will bring my two grandkids to visit your Shack. They would be really impressed.

42: Willie Amwinston (Kolkata, India), April 18, 2013, 3:08 AM.

I am really impressed by the work you did in this article. It's great enough to pull my attention and in reading this article for once to understand that your pen is really mightier than the sword.

43: Geet Thakkar (Mumbai, India), December 25, 2013, 4:59 AM.

Knowing Sangat Uncle was always a pleasure and after reading this article, we feel truly blessed to know such a gem of a person that he is. He is a living example of a man with great interests and pursuits with excellence in any sphere he has ventured into. We must learn from him that hard work and total dedication, along with a voracious reading appetite -- but of course with the blessings of the great Almighty -- are essential ingredients for success. There is no simpler route to achieve success - one has to work the full way for it. Despite achieving such accolades, I always find him to be such a humble person, ever eager to learn. His childlike enthusiasm is so infectious that it is a source of inspiration to all. Who says age is a deterrent? Sangat uncle negates the idea. When he is in his shack, which he calls his first home, he is so full of energy - one should see the cheer and brightness on his face. We have had the pleasure of visiting his shack - the kind of belonging that his personality exudes there is just unimaginable. When it comes to religion, he is so well read and his discussions and arguments are so valid and informative. Sangat Uncle, you truly signify that knowledge is not got by qualifications and degrees but it is what one acquires through the sheer quest and hunger for it. Our good wishes to you and Aunty Upkar and your family. We feel very proud of you.

44: Jatinder Sethi (Gurgaon, India), June 08, 2016, 10:53 PM.

I think, presently, I am only the second person from India who is penning comments on this article. I have never been to any of the places from where all the other inspiring comments have come. Moreover, I have never met S. Sangat Singh ji, nor did I know, till two days ago that he exists. It was Sangat who found me from one of the web sites ... and glory be! He lived two minutes away from our house in Lyallpur, and is two years younger to me. As it turned out, we had quite a few old memories from our childhood to share of Lyallpur, till we parted after the Partition of Punjab. It's only a few days ago that he read my piece on Lyallpur and my childhood memories. And today I have just read this article on him and realized how great a man he turned out be. It's the Chenab water which he drank in Lyallpur that must have done the trick! Just like Sangat found me, there was another kid (wonder if Sangat will remember him) Kishan Kamra, one year older to me,from the same school (Arya School). His father was a professor in Agriculture College, Lyallpur. Kish Kamra, like Sangat, after Partition went off to Canada, but later got in touch with me just like Sangat has done. Well, I retired in Gurgaon after having lived in London for 6 years, and then in Bombay for 35 years. My wife who was my class fellow in college in Delhi has been my life companion since 1958. I wonder if Sangat knew, while studying in Ludhiana, Prof Vidya Sagar Sethi (my cousin) who used to teach in Govt College, Lyallpur and later joined Govt College, Ludhiana. God bless you, Sangat, and all your well wishers.

45: Dr K N Singh (Johor Baru, Malaysia), June 09, 2016, 5:54 PM.

Wonderfully written article but this is just ONE facet of this remarkable man. A great friend and mentor with great humility. Let's all get together on your 90th Birthday, Sangat.

46: Inderjit Singh (Chandigarh, Punjab), June 09, 2016, 8:02 PM.

An association of 69 years! We met in Ludhiana after the Partition of Punjab. We went to school and college together. I'm responsible for his leaving his photography business. I was the only one to see him off at the Calcutta airport in 1954. We were married in the same town - Ganganagar, Rajasthan - in the same year, 1961. We've stayed in contact, talking 3/4 times a week. Doubt it if anyone knows him better than I do.

47: J K Anand (Peterborough, England), July 23, 2016, 11:15 AM.

Delighted to have discovered Sardar Sangat Singh ji. He was a year junior at Ludhiana Govt. College, when after the Partition of Punjab in 1947 he arrived from Lyallpur and I from Lahore. Amazed at his achievements and his enduring interest in teaching. I wish him a long and happy life.

48: Muhammad Tariq (Sahiwal, Punjab, Pakistan), September 06, 2016, 11:20 PM.

I can feel the pain of S. Sangat Singh ji about Lyalpur and Rajkot.

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