Daijiworld Media Network - Dubai
Dubai, Jun 8: Sardar Gurvinder Singh, a renowned Dubai-based restaurateur and owner of the popular Indian gourmet house Sind Punjab restaurant, passed away on Wednesday, June 7, at the age of 67. His demise has left behind a grieving family, friends, and loyal customers.
Fondly known as 'Pappi Singh' and recognized as a "man with a golden heart," Singh had been unwell for over a month. His son, Parvinder Singh Arneja (aka Rimpy), the owner of the Patiala House restaurant chain, confirmed his father's passing in Dubai.
"My father was an extraordinary soul. He possessed kindness and generosity beyond measure. He always wore a pleasant smile and was affectionately called a man with a golden heart by his friends, family, and loyal customers," reminisced Rimpy.
Singh is survived by his mother, Davinder Kaur, his wife Harninder Kaur (fondly known as Pinky), his son Rimpy, his daughter Gini, his son-in-law Jaspreet Singh Gandhi, and his grandson Aarin.
Sind Punjab holds a special place in the hearts of the UAE community, with countless individuals cherishing memories of dining at the renowned restaurant.
Singh established Sind Punjab in July 1977, during the Holy month of Ramadan. He acquired special permission from the Dubai government to serve food inside the restaurant by drawing the curtains.
Reflecting on the 1970s, Singh recalled the influx of blue-collar workers in Dubai. "During the construction of the Dubai World Trade Centre, many Indian workers arrived here," he recalled.
Determined to provide delectable Punjabi cuisine at affordable prices, Singh opened the restaurant, which has since stood the test of time.
In 1985, the restaurant expanded with a branch in Karama and later in Dubai Internet City (DIC). The Bur Dubai location has remained in the same place throughout the years.
Singh once shared that in the 1970s, a bowl of daal (yellow lentil gravy) costed Dh3, chole bature (a dish made with fried bread and chickpeas) costed Dh5, and a plate of butter chicken costed around Dh10. By 2019, the prices had increased three to fourfold.
With Singh's amiable personality and the restaurant's exceptional food, it became a favored destination for Bollywood stars, including Raj Kapoor, his wife Krishna, Shammi Kapoor, Aishwarya Rai, and others who relished the Punjabi cuisine.
Meanwhile, Rimpy expressed gratitude for the condolence messages the family has received since Singh's passing. "After the cremation on June 8, we will hold a Bhog and Kirtan Ardaas at the Jebel Ali Gurudwara on June 11, from 2:30 pm to 3:30 pm, followed by tea. All are welcome to attend," announced Rimpy.
Vasu Shroff, a textile businessman and president of the Hindu temple, mourned Singh's death, stating, "He was a deeply spiritual and generous man. Every day, he would come and clean the temple stairs, donate food, and assist the needy, always with a smile on his face. He was an affable, loving, and giving person. We miss him greatly."