Abraham Lincoln, Albert Einstein, Mahatma Gandhi, Rosa Parks… History has labeled them honorable, impactful, and simply ‘great’ individuals. They have each significantly changed lives locally, nationally, and internationally. Each led a remarkable life and faced many hardships; but they learned to overcome obstacles with persistence, determination, and a dedication to the ideal of bettering the lives of their peers. In doing so they indirectly made a promise to better the lives of the generations to come. They had many successes and many failures but ultimately were defined by ONE great act, deed, or idea. If history is the judge and the criteria to being considered one of the greats is by doing something great, then Jayant Prasad Singh should be considered in that category. Not because he furthered physics or fought for human rights for all. No, he should be considered great because of the little things he did. But alas history will never deem him great and you wont see a Wikipedia post dedicated to him because he will be considered… a humble man who simply completed the cycle of life.


It sounds cliché but he always had a smile on his face. You might find that hard to believe considering how difficult it was to capture this smile on camera, but whenever he entered the room an aura of happiness would soon take over everyone.

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During the precious four years that I had the pleasure of being a part of his life he absolutely refused to greet me with either a handshake or the youthful version known as a ‘dap.’ Plainly put.. Jayant did not believe in them. The only manner in which he would consent to either a greeting or a farewell would be with a hug. That is just the type of man he was. He was a kindred spirit, a brother, a ‘friend’s friend’, and whenever you needed him he was there for you. When you went along for an adventurous night and it came to driving home, he would always offer first. If we said no, he’d pick us up and put us in his car. If somehow you weaseled out of his grip and ran to your car, you would find yourself with text messages and phone calls to before you could turn the key to the ignition.

Jayant would always offer cheesecake, because he believed that .. THAT was the key to a man’s happiness. Sorry bud, the key to happiness was never cheesecake. Its having people like you in our lives. I never got a chance to tell him this and I sincerely wish I was alone in that circumstance. But I know my brother. He knew – he knew how much we all loved him.

History will fail to record the humility of a man who never did anything out of the ordinary that would make people stand up and notice him or the perseverance to live life to the fullest; but, these traits are what made him extraordinary. Jayant had this unforgettable style of talking and communicating with his peers that just made you smile. Even if it was something as simple as responding with a “yes!!!” .. he would respond in the most childish manner that we all had grown accustomed to, but then with a flip of a switch he would be there to listen and offer sound & objective advice.

I personally have never heard him say no, but I have hard that if he ever did say no – he would make sure that you had an alternative already set-up so that in the end you achieve what you had asked him for in the first place.

He was a great son, exceptional brother, and memorable friend to everyone who had the pleasure of being in his life. No matter the length of time he was in our lives we were all changed by him. Whether it was by setting the right example, a life-lesson he shared with us, or simply an explanation of how he approached life he showed us how to live.

As a member of Sigma Beta Rho, he taught many of us the true meaning of brotherhood. Whether you had joined before him or became a member yesterday, he would treat you with the utmost respect. He approached each of us with the same witticism & loving manner that two lifelong friends might not even have. He was gracious beyond comprehension. No really, it was beyond our comprehension! There were so many times where we would wonder: “wait why did he just do that for that person?” In the end he never classified or judged people.

I realize now that these confounding characteristics are what truly set him apart from the rest of us. So while I sit in my room, on an island thousands of miles away from home, writing this anecdote about a person whom I am proud to call my brother, I have one last thing to say…

Great people shouldn’t be decided by a singular act that defines their legacy.

The legacy Jayant Prasad Singh leaves behind will never be one single act; moreover, his legacy will be comprised of numerous small memories and acts of kindess. These actions may have never stood out at the instance in which they occurred, but the impact they had on our lives will always be cherished. Now that I realize how much I took him for granted and what he indirectly taught me because I find myself surrounded by friends saying “why did you just do that for that person” and I finally realized why. Jayant.