Ajit Singh

A Musician who took Beatles for tea passes away

Ajit Singh was an excellent musician. He performed shows abroad and made a niche for himself in All India Radio. 

He owned a music shop in Uttarakhand. He befriended the Beatles during their trip to Rishikesh about a half-century ago. Can you imagine befriending someone randomly and making a memory out of it? The fantastic four stayed at Maharishi Mahesh Yogi’s Ashram in northern India to seek spirituality and new experiences. They wanted to find some calm from the noise and Beatlemania back home. 

Impressed and rejuvenated by their new surroundings overlooking the Ganges river, John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, and Ringo Starr wrote much of their seminal “White Album” there.

Ajit Singh was thin with a twinkle in his eyes and wore a turban. In an interview with AFP back in 2019 he recalled the band roaming into his shop in Dehradun. He instantly got along with the Liverpudlians, who were pursued by the crowd outside and inviting them for tea at home. He later di Ed Lennon’s guitar and performed at Harrison’s 25th birthday party. “They were polite to me; they weren’t snobbish or haughty.” He said the owner of Pratap Music House. 

He confessed, “I always said to people that they were good people.” Ajit Singh always loved to recount his old but evergreen stories with the Beatles. He passed away at the age of 88. A lesser-known fact about the veteran that he was one of the very few people who could play Vichitra Veena, a traditional string instrument that rests horizontally in front of the kneeling musician. Wouldn’t we all wish to have one of such stories captured and cherished for life long?

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