A funeral that attracted national headlines this week has led to rumours and intrigue, well it did have a procession of 15 Rolls Royces, a horse-drawn carriage and expensive sports cars & a helicopter overhead. .
So it comes as no surprise that there’s been a lot of speculation around the man the spectacular display was in honour of, Balbinder Singh Khakh.
The facts we do know are Balbinder Singh Khakh was born and raised in Southall and died on January 4 aged 50, of a sudden brain aneurysm.
He was the oldest son of four, a father and a grandfather and was well-known in the area – thousands turned up to his funeral at Sri Guru Singh Sabha Sikh Temple, in Park Avenue.
Tributes for Bali have been coming in all week, his friends remembering him as a “beloved gent” who “lived life the way he wanted too” but various publictions including ourselves who published the story about his spectacular funeral received messages via social media and phone calls from people who claimed to know Bali saying otherwise.
While none of these people were willing to go on record, or were able to provide precise dates and details, many claimed Bali had a less than squeaky clean past and condemned his glamorous funeral.
The claims ranged from incriminating to plain bizarre, with one person even alleging Bali’s body had been cremated along with a £10,000 Rolex watch.
Now friends of Bali’s have got in touch with MyLondon.com to respond to the unflattering whispers about the man they knew and cared for.
‘People are just jealous’
Raj Singh, 57, has run a fruit and veg stall in Southall Broadway for 30 years. He knew Bali since he was a kid and says he was a “kind” and “helpful” person who “never had a problem with anyone.”
Raj said: “I see quite a few faces on the Broadway having had the shop here so long, I’m mean it’s like EastEnders, I know everyone who comes in the store. I’m a businessman so I’m neutral.
“I want to tell the truth as I see it, I used to go to temple with Bali in Oswald Road and he was very likeable, I’ve seen him with all sorts of people of all colours and creeds, he was Sikh but friends with Muslims as well. I never saw him in an argument.”
Asked why he thought some people responded negatively to Bali’s funeral procession, Raj said: “I’ve never had a bad word to say about Bali, I think people who do are just jealous.
“It was a heck of a funeral as you know, I saw it go past my shop on the Broadway and went to pay my respects in the temple, and it was spectacular. People can say what the want, but I think the rumours are just jealousy and lies.”
‘He was a lovable rogue’
Nick, 50, is a courier who grew up a couple of streets away from with Bali in Southall. They were childhood friends and used to go to the same gym as adults.
Nick said: “I’ve known him all my life and used to see him the whole time, we would train together at the gym. I would describe him as a lovable rogue. He was one of them sort of guys who helped anybody, he was really generous.
“He had his ups and downs and things like that but he was kindhearted by nature, he wasn’t a horrible person. If anyone said that to you, they are totally wrong. He was a really nice guy who just grew up like any other kid in Southall.”
“Bali was a kind geezer, he could be naughty like anybody else but he wasn’t a horrible person. He was a really good guy and had a really big heart.”
“He looked after his mum”
Khawaja Ahamad Rahman, 50, grew up a few streets away from Bali and new him since childhood.
He said: “Bali’s main job was looking after his mum – that was his sole purpose. He was a really good guy. I heard about the negative comments which is why I got in touch, I’ve known Bali 40 years, he was my mate and it’s heartbreaking to hear bad things about him.”