Reunited With Family After 40 Years, Manipur’s Gambhir Singh Dies

Gambhir was reportedly found hanging from under a bridge near his home in West Imphal’s Khumbong village on 10 Sept.

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Two years after a heart-warming reunion with his family in Manipur, Khomdram, Gambhir Singh is no more. The 67-year-old, who shot to fame in April 2018 after a video of him singing went viral on social media, died by suicide on 10 September.

Gambhir was reportedly found hanging from under a bridge near his home in West Imphal’s Khumbong village.

“I am offering my condolences to the family of Gambhir Singh saab. This is a huge loss for that family because they waited 40 years for Gambhir Singh to return home and when he did come home, he hung himself from a bridge near his house,” said photographer Firoze Shakir, whose video of Gambhir in 2018 had gone viral.

Sheikh’s video featuring Gambhir was seen by the Manipur police and the state Students’ Union, who traced Singh’s family and reached Mumbai to take him back to Imphal, after 40 years. Recounting his initial interactions with Gambhir, Shakir said:

“When I took his video, he was in his own world. I asked him whether he takes drugs, he said, ‘No, I don’t take drugs, I drink,’ and drinking is not a crime. He never stole money to drink, he used to sing songs and take Re 1. If you gave him Rs 5, he would return Rs 4 back to you. Where do you get a man like this?”
Firoze Shakir, Photographer 

After bidding goodbye to the city of dreams after 40 years, Manipur’s prodigal son was received with much celebration in Imphal in April 2018.

But, despite living on the streets of Mumbai and barely sustaining himself through odd jobs, Mumbai had become a part of him, believes Shakir.

“I have a feeling that he died the day he was taken away from here, uprooted from Mumbai because he had grown roots in Mumbai. His entire system was Mumbai. I tell anyone, you come to Mumbai and try to live 40 years without doing anything, no job, without a house, living on the road, it is totally impossible.”
Firoze Shakir, Photographer

Gambhir’s family has requested the police not to register any case in connection with the incident, reported The Indian Express.

“Gambhir Singh has died by suicide but Gambhir Singh is not Sushant Singh Rajput, so, the people that mourn for him are his family and the beautiful people of Manipur. He is not going to make news,” points out Shakir.

“I can’t believe he is gone. His suicide is a big message. Something has to be done. We have to do something as a society, as a country, to curb this deadly self-infliction called suicide.”
Firoze Shakir, Photographer  

Gambhir’s loss is mourned by two cities, Imphal, the home he was born to, and Mumbai, the home he chose and perhaps the home he could not live without.

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