HE spent much of his all-too short life bringing the joy of the dhol drum and the beauty of his Sikh heritage to the world.
So it was fitting that as he started his final journey from the Ramgharia Gurdwara in Chapeltown Road, tragic young Leeds dad Manminder Saundh Singh was greeted with those very same powerful Punjabi beats.
Around 1,000 people flocked to the 35-year old’s funeral at the Sikh temple in Sheepscar earlier today (Wednesday).
It was double the usual average number of guests at such a funeral gathering, testament to his popularity and the regard in which he was held.
Well-wishers of all faiths and backgrounds joined close family and friends to pay their respects.
There was power and poignancy in the moments leading to the prayer ceremony, as Mr Saundh’s friends - many of them wearing T-shirts emblazoned with his picture - played a special dhol tribute.
At one point, people were queuing up outside the building into the car park to pay their respects.
Prayers at the temple were followed by a cremation ceremony in Rawdon, before family and guests returned to the temple for a special ‘langhar’, a community lunch to honour the departed soul.
Doting father Mr Saundh, known affectionately as ‘Minda’, died suddenly after suffering a major heart attack while caring for his four-year-old-son Harman at his home in Moor Allerton earlier this month.
He collapsed in his bedroom as Harman played outside on the landing ahead of bedtime. Mr Saundh drew his last breaths in his own father’s arms.
Just hours before his death, Mr Saundh had posted on his Facebook page: “Regardless of what life throws at you, never forget to laugh.”
Mr Saundh was a popular member of the Leeds Sikh and South Asian community.
He was a master player and teacher of the Punjabi dhol drum and performed at parties and weddings across the UK.
He worked for Capita at the Arlington Business Centre at Churwell, and had spent four years as a radio presenter at Fever FM on Roundhay Road, Harehills.
His brother Manjeet Singh Saundh, 42, said ahead of the funeral: “We are going to give him the send off he deserves.
“We are going to do something very special for him.
“He had such a big network of people he knew all around the UK.
“We have had people who he has met only once, but has played at their son’s or brother’s or sister’s wedding or party who have turned up at the house to give their condolences because he made such a big impression on them.”
Mr Saundh’s friends also took to social media to say their final goodbyes.
Friend and fellow radio presenter Harpreet Kaur said: “Always & Forever. Miss you so much bro. #RIP.”
Prit Gill posted: “Until we meet again bro R.I.P”.
Nagina Karim said: “Whenever I hear the sound of dhols Manminder, I will remember you. See you in the next life.”
And Saiqa Rehman said: “We are gonna send you to the almighty with all our love. As an angel, look over us, protect and guide us all as you did in your earthly form. I’m sure in heaven we shall meet again. ‘Til me meet again, goodbye, farewell, Adieu xxxxxx.”