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Mandira Bedi remembers uncle Arjan Singh: Even at 98, he used to play golf twice a week

Actor Mandira Bedi recalls fond memories of her uncle, Marshal of the Indian Air Force, Arjan Singh and talks about his irrepressible spirit.

bollywood Updated: Sep 17, 2017 17:30 IST
Monika Rawal Kukreja
Monika Rawal Kukreja
Hindustan Times
Mandira Bedi,Arjan Singh,Amitabh Bachchan
Actor Mandira Bedi shares her birthday with late IAF Marshal Arjan Singh.

As the entire nation mourns the sad demise of Marshal of the Indian Air Force, Arjan Singh, who died on Saturday after suffering a cardiac arrest, actor Mandira Bedi remembers him as one of the “best conversationalist” she has ever met in her life.

Singh was Mandira’s maternal uncle — her mother’s sister was married to him. “Every time I used to come down to Delhi for more than a day, I always used to visit him. Even at the age of 98, he was such a great conversationalist, he spoke so well, so correct and coherent. He defied age in every way. If one looks back at his life, he has lived such a full life, so distinguished and respectable. I feel privileged that I am a part of his family,” says Mandira, who reached Delhi on Sunday morning.

Recalling how he was unlike people from his generation, who would mostly share tales from their era, Mandira says Singh was more interested to know about others. “There are so many achievements but he never wanted to talk about what all he did in his life. He was a very good listener and always wanted to know about your life and how you are doing. He listened. All the time, he’d ask me how I was doing and what work I was busy with and how my son was. He was just so wonderful to be around.”

Prime Minister Narendra Modi met Marshal of the Indian Air Force Arjan Singh during the At Home at president house in New Delhi, India. ( Raj K Raj/ HT Photo )

Mandira adds, “My maassi and him shared the most beautiful and loving relationship. Not a day would go by, without them saying ‘I love you’ to each other.”

Mandira also shared her birthday with him. “He and I shared our birthday — April 15 — so that’s one thing I can never forget. Every year on this day, either he’d call up or I would call him and we would say happy birthday to each other.”

Going down memory lane, Mandira recalls, “Once when I was 10 or 11 years old, he took me swimming to the Rashtrapati Bhavan swimming pool one evening. Swimming there, at a place so historic and grand, was a memory that will remain in my mind forever.”

Another memory that Mandira says will always remain etched in her heart is that of collecting stamps. “As a kid, whenever I used to come to his house, I will straight go to his study and check for the dustbins because he used to get so many letters from all over the world, and I would pick all the stamps from there.”

Mandira met Singh last about a month and a half ago and she shares that even a few days ago, he used to play golf, sometimes couple of times a week. “He was as fit as he has always been. He always wanted to standup, see you off. I remember every single time we used to come over to his place; he would come to the door step and see us off to the car. That’s the kind of person he was.”

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First Published: Sep 17, 2017 17:29 IST