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Posted by BANTO ( on January 16, 2001 at 03:44:04:

CHANDIGARH, Jan 10 — Punjabi pop singer Gurdas Mann says he was sleeping on
the back seat of his Mitsubishi Pajero when his vehicle met with an accident
35 km from here yesterday. The seat belt which he had fastened at the
insistence of his driver, Tej Pal Singh, saved his life. Tejpal was killed
in the accident.

Speaking to The Tribune from his private ward amidst tight security at
Government Medical College and Hospital in Sector 32 here, a visibly shaken
and distressed Mann remembered that Tejpal had said “road te bahut rush hai,
tussi seat belt bandh leyo.” Thanking the Almighty for saving his life,
Gurdas Mann was, however, faced with the bitter truth about the death of his
companion and associate of more than two decades. ‘‘I am concerned about the
family of Tejpal and its welfare,” he said.

Recalling details about the accident, Gurdas Mann said: “In fact, I am not
sure of when and how the accident took place. I do not remember how
everything happened so fast. One moment I was sleeping and next I woke up
with a jerk and a loud bang. It was when I stepped out of the car and
touched my forehead that I found my hand was smeared with blood. It dawned
on me that I had been hurt. But it was when I looked closely at Tejpal and
felt his pulse that I realised the enormity of the situation,” he recalled.

A Maruti car coming from the opposite direction stopped to help them. “At
that time, I felt it would be better to go to the Civil Hospital, Nakodar,
thinking Nakodar was closer to where the accident had occurred. The person
driving the Maruti, however, advised me that we should instead go to
Chandigarh as better health facilities were available there. In fact, I
could not even pick up my mobile from the car. But I made all calls from the
mobile of the man driving the Maruti,” a grateful Mann said while
recollecting the help rendered by the Maruti car driver, Mr Ravinder Singh

Gurdas Mann has been injured on the forehead and has received a couple of
stitches. Although his X-ray and CT scan reports are normal, he has been
advised bed rest by the doctors. When this reporter went to meet him, the
singer, a true gentleman, despite his bandaged forehead and other problems,
tried to get up and greet her.

‘‘Thanks to the concern shown by my well-wishers and the grace of God, I am
absolutely fine and able to move around,” the singer said while adding
laughingly that even though the doctors were not giving him permission, he
felt fit enough to exercise. “Hopefully, I will be back on the stage within
a week or two,” he added.

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