The singer who was hospitalised last week was supposed to visit Patiala with Puri to honour the memory of their mentor, Harpal Tiwana

With Jagjit Singh still in hospital (he was admitted two weeks ago after suffering a brain hemorrhage on September 23), Om Puri is in a quandary. His date with his dear friend on October 13 is in jeopardy. If fate had willed it otherwise, the duo would have been in Patiala to honour the memory of their mentor, well-known playwright Harpal Tiwana, who passed away in 2002.

They were scheduled to attend the opening of a theatre named after the playwright. Puri and Singh were undisputedly Tiwana's favourite students, and after Tiwana died, the two went to great lengths to ensure their teacher's memory remained alive. Thanks to their efforts, the Chief Minister of Punjab sanctioned the funding of the theatre.

"Look at fate," said Puri from Jodpur, where he is currently shooting for a comedy. "Jagjit is critically ill. We were supposed to be in Patiala to honour Harpalji, who is responsible for my acting career having taken off. It is he who pulled me out of my wage earner's job and coaxed me to join his theatre group. He said, 'How much money do you make per month? Rs 125? I will give you Rs 150 if you join my group'. That is how I found my vocation. I owe my life and career to him."

In Patiala, Singh was expected to perform ghazals songs in memory of his mentor. With Singh being declared critical, Puri is worried but hoping for the best.  "It doesn't  feel the same. The trip to Patiala is something we had both planned down to the last detail. But I'm hoping for a miracle. I've been speaking to the doctors at Lilavati. I am told there has been a miraculous improvement in his condition," Puri said.