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Posted at: Jun 27, 2015, 1:12 AM; last updated: Jun 27, 2015, 12:30 AM (IST)

Though away, Shiv Singh was in touch with his village

Sanjiv Kumar Bakshi

Hoshiarpur, June 26

Famous artist Shiv Singh had left his native village, Bassi Gulam Hussein, in Hoshiarpur district decades ago, but he had a special place for the village in his heart. Everyone from the village was welcomed by him warmly.

Villagers were shocked to learn about his demise and shared their memories connected with him.

Shiv Singh's father was a landlord who owned around 35 acres of farmland in Bassi Gulam Hussein. Baldev Singh recalled that Shiv Singh did his early schooling (till class IV) at the village school and then joined DAV Senior Secondary School in Hoshiarpur from where he did his matriculation.

He was a good football player but he later turned to painting and sculpting. He used to make lively sculptures and drawings on the sand banks of the village 'choe'.

After some years, he joined service, began staying in Chandigarh and later in Panchkula. But his connection with the village did not snap. Whenever anyone from the village went to meet him, he spent long hours talking about the village, its residents and the life there.

Sameer Saini, a young man from the village who had gone to meet him in Panchkula a couple of years ago, recalled his meeting with Shiv Singh. "During the long conversation we had, he told me that he could never forget his village and when he was asked to draw a sculpture for Punjabi University campus, he utilised an idea from his village experiences."

"The sculpture that he made at Punjabi University was inspired by the old banyan tree near his village school. He had said: I live my village through my sculptures. Such was his love for the village and villagers," said Sameer.

Millennium Hall of the Fame awardee Jaspal S recalled being at a workshop with Shiv Singh. He said, "It was as if we were learning from nature itself. He put life into everything. Even the dullest metal came alive in his hands. His departure has left a vacuum that may never be filled."


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