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Bhai Apardeep SinghIt was back in 2003, and one of the first Rehansbhais I attended was in Hounslow, just outside of West London. The Gurdwara, on Alice Way, was beautiful and my first time visiting. It has a beautiful water feature just before you enter the main divaan hall, which as you will see from the photographs, is also really amazing. The Rehansbhai had some truly amazing Keertani who really made the entire sangat sing in harmony and bliss. Amongst the Keertani were Bhai Apardeep Singh, who was very popular in the Akhand Keertani Jatha at that time, as well as Bhai Manpreet Singh (Kanpur) who was visiting from India. Bhai Manpreet Singh's popularity had exploded around that time, so sangat came from far and wide. 

Gianni Amolak SinghIt was especially a special event for me as I remember meeting Gianni Amolak Singh for the first time. I didn't know about Gianni Ji at the time when he walked through those Divaan doors, but something about him really stood out to me. He had an aura and I could see the sangat all looking at him as he made his entrance. I stood up and immediately grabbed my camera and began taking photos of him as he approached Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji. My camera was not the best back in those days and neither were my camera skills! But I managed to get one photo of this great Gursikh. I didn't stay long enough to hear Gianni Ji do Keertan as I had a long trip back home, but I later got to meet him properly and bumped into him in India too on one of my visits, not long before he passed away in 2004. He had a lot of love for other great Gursikhs and they in return had a lot for him. He spent his life devoted to service of humanity, yet remained very humble and modest. Here is a little more about Gianni Ji.

After studying his Metric, Amolak Singh went on to Punjab University, where he did a Granthi course. Hence, he became affectionately known as Gianni Amolak Singh ji. Gianni Ji's interest in Sikhism began from his parents. His father was a devout soul. Everyday at Amritvela, he would take milk to the Gurdwara sahib, and sweep the floor. However the biggest influence in these early years was his Mama Ji. This was Master Joginder Singh, a well known Gursikh and close associate of Bhai Sahib Randhir Singh. Master Joginder Singh is mentioned in many of Bhai Sahib's books. From the age of 5 years, Gianni Amolak Singh was in the sangat of such blessed souls such as Master Joginder Singh, Bhai Sahib Randhir Singh and the Akhand Kirtan Jatha. In 1936, Master Joginder Singh did seva at Tarn Tarn Sahib and Gianni ji regularly accompanied him and it was there that he was inspired to learn keertan. Such was the blessed soul of Gianni Amolak Singh, that by the age of 8 years, he realized his path in life, and was gifted with Amrit by the Panj Pyaare.

Unfortunately, I didn't record this Rehansbhai so I can't find any recordings in my collection or online. I hope one day recordings surface from the event.

Gurdwara Website: www.sgss.org
Click here to view photos on Flickr


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