FAREWELL TARA

 

Dear Kirkbyites,

 

It is with deep sorrow that I’m writing this letter to inform you all that Tara Singh (1959-1960) had passed away. Shan from PD rang me up this morning (Thursday, 13 April 2006) to draw my attention to the Obituary in The Star. Later I found out that the same Obituary appeared in the NST as well.

 

Tara was from my Block 8. For some reason Block 8 had the majority of Singhs. There were from among my Seniors Daljit Singh, Gurucharan Singh, Harcharand Singh and Surjit Singh and from my batch Ajeet Singh, Balwant Singh, Manjit Singh and Tara Singh.

 

Tara was a quiet kind of a person: thin, dark with a sparse beard and donning a turban that I seem to recall as maroon. He was quite friendly.

 

In 1960, together with some of our Juniors they toured Europe in a rented car. Guch was also in that car, if I can remember. Unfortunately they were involved in an accident in Austria in which Navasawthy passed away. Navasawthy was buried in Innsbruick. When this accident took place, I was leading a group on a tour of Europe. We visited Navasawthy’s grave to pay our last respects. I remember saying a few words at the grave and I still recall those words: “Here lies part of Malaysia in a foreign land…” It was a very moving and emotional moment for me and for the rest of us that day.

 

Tara suffered a broken jaw and was wired up for many weeks. He was terribly shaken by this experience and remained very quiet for some time.

 

I never met him after college, though I had tried my best to contact him. Some years ago I learnt that he was the Secretary of the Sikh temple in Malacca. I managed to get the address of the temple and wrote to Tara. This was sometime in 2001, soon after the grand reunion in KL. But there was no reply. I don’t know if he received that letter.

 

Last year he visited Cheng Swee and Lean Aing and complained that he had been left out in our gatherings. I got his handphone number from Lean Aing and unsuccessfully called him several times. I sent him a sms but he did not respond. I called his home and was told by his wife that he had gone to Malacca to play golf. I left a message with his wife – again there was no response.

 

The Obituary did not say when he passed away. It merely stated that he passed away suddenly and that his funeral was 0n the morning of 13 April 2006. We can presume that he must have passed away the previous day.

 

He leaves behind his wife, two sons and a daughter.

 

May his soul rest in peace.

 

For those who may want to contact the family, the address is:

5 Jalan Putra Bistari 2/1R, Putra Heights, 47650 Subang, Selangor

 

Take care and keep well.

 

With very warm regards,

 

Rama