A Tribute to Ishmeet Singh (1989-2008) The voice of India is no more. As the news of the death of 19-year-old Ishmeet Singh trickled in on Tuesday evening, the reaction of fans and well-wishers across the country was that of shock. Reports said Ishmeet died in a swimming pool in Male, the capital of Maldives, where he had gone for a promotional event. A resident of Shastri Nagar, Ishmeet gave up his studies to pursue a career in music. After receiving the news, relatives, friends and unknown people thronged his house to pay tributes. Atamjit Singh, a close family friend, said: “I cannot digest the news. I met him this Sunday when he was home. He was upbeat about how his career was shaping up. He had vowed that one day he would sing for A R Rehman. And what has happened is unbelievable. I wish we had not let him go.” SAD president Sukhbir Singh Badal, who happened to be in the city, visitied the family late on Tuesday and condoled the death. Arshpreet Kaur, Ismeet’s co-contestant from Ludhiana said: “Harshit Saxena, whom Ishmeet has beaten in the finals, broke the news to me. I could not believe it at first but once I saw the news on the television, I just sank.” “He used to say Arshpreet didi, I have a lot to learn from you. Even, Lataji used to say that he had a great quality of voice and a unique power. He rose to stardom so early and was a promising singer,” said a tearful Arshpreet. Ishmeet shot to fame last year after he won the Voice of India title, beating his closest rival Harshit Saxena. He was probably the first and the only sabut surat Sikh who made a mark in the glamour world. In his visit to the city during a contest, Ishmeet had recalled: “Many on the show asked me to shave my beard and get a hair cut to better my chances of winning the contest. But I refused. I wanted to win just the way I am.” Ismeet had done a number of shows in the city and at Guru Nanak Public School where he studied. The news of his death was unbelievable for many who attended his last performance in the city on July 27 at Kothari Resorts. No sooner did Ishmeet occupy the stage during the programme held to mark the conclusion of first Diagnostic Cardiology Summit, that the whole atmosphere turned lively. “It was such a nice change when Ishmeet took over the stage. We were all listening to ghazals and slow music was being performed live on the stage. Yet, when he came in his performance changed the whole mood of the evening and in the next five minutes, almost everyone present around me was on dancing,” recalled Aman Sharman, an employee of Dayanand Medical College and Hospital. The tragedy has cut short a promising life but Ishmeet will live in the memories of his fans who will best remember him as the man who sang in the long golden brown coat to pick up the Voice of India trophy.