We all have our dream-places where we want to travel to some time and we all picturise them too. This, Ladies and Gentlemen, is one of those experiences where you get to have a face-off with that dream. It happened to us on a trip to Shangarh in Sainj Valley of Himachal Pradesh where we discovered ‘Singh Sahab’s Home’ – something of sorts that we dream and fancy about.
By the looks of it, it is a typical small wooden house located at half an hour hike above Daggara Village above the Shangarh Meadow. Although, at the time of writing this post, we share with all of you the loss of a man who would say – “I do what I do” with the essence of every word speaking through his eyes. Mr. Virpal Singh or the Cow Boy, as the Indian Army used to address him as in the invitation cards, breathed last on August 7, 2018.
Mr. Virpal Singh was among the first cadets of the inaugural batch of Indian Army in 1949 at Indian Military Academy, Dehradun. He served the Army till Indo-China war and then moved to Kolkata to work for a shipping Corporation there. He married Ms. Tara Singh in Kolkata around the same time and later moved to Delhi’s Vasant Kunj.
Wondering how all of this is related to Singh Sahab’s Home in Sainj Valley?
Well, Mr. SIngh, an avid traveler, cyclist, adventurer, and a crazy arms fan, came to Sainj Valley and probably never went back. He built this home and married a native charm Ms. Leelawati (we call her Leelawati Kaki) here. Until August 2018 before he passed away, Singh Sahab lived with both his lady-loves here.
Singh Sahab’s home was no less than a discovery for us. Without much ado, take a look on your own:
The Wall That Knows It All
Inside the house, this wall of the living room is a classified library. It comprises of a large variety of books ranging from Literature, Languages, Medicines, Engineering and many other fields of study. And on the opposite side, there are some…
Musings Of The Past
This wall displays souvenirs of the Victorian aristocracy. A collection of original cutlery from the Victorian time that shows its logo if you look through the base against the light. There are lamps (Aladin) that date back to the late 1800s.
And Then Comes The Music
By the cutlery shelf, a corner is dedicated to music. You get exposed to a collection of original LP’s of old Jazz, Rock and Metal bands and artists. An original copy of Beethoven, Cleveland Orchestra, George Szell – Symphony No. 6 In F Major “Pastoral” is just one from the collection. The Gramophone is attached to speakers and amplifiers that would actually take you back in time.
One That Literally Amplifies It All
Trust us you, listening to Metal on these speakers teaches you a thing or two about Metal Music. We know, you will not believe if we tell you that this is a fully functioning speaker cum base tube.
Anyway, This Is How It Looks From Mr. Singh’s Couch
Wait, There Is More
Mr. Singh loved arms – from the legends of arms to the making of the latest ones, we had conversations with him listening about several of them. So, the second room – actually the workshop from where the entire world of Mr. Singh runs, has this mummified Tiger that he killed on one of his trips to Assam.
So, This Is Where It All Started
And, That’s How It Is
This house speaks so many stories from the past which consciously-subconsciously takes you into a distant time and space. The time which is gone back and space which is far.
Did you also get to meet folks like Singh Sahab on your travels? Do tell us in the comments below!