Pooran Singh's ashes travelled from Victoria to Delhi today, in the safe hands of Indian cricket star Kapil Dev.
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4 Aug 2010 - 6:23 PM  UPDATED 23 Aug 2013 - 2:09 PM

Pooran Singh's ashes travelled from Victoria to Delhi today, in the safe hands of Indian cricket star Kapil Dev.

For a humble man who lived a seemingly unremarkable life, it was quite a reception. And touchdown in Delhi marked the final stages of Pooran Singh's journey.

Instructions for his ashes to be scattered in the River Ganges were ignored for years, and Pooran Singh's remains stayed in the possession of local funeral directors in Warnambol.

SBS radio journalist Manpreet Singh publicised the story, found photos and even located a relative in England, so after a farewell ceremony at Warnambool a fortnight ago, Pooran Singh's remains were escorted home.

“I am really touched by this story. I have never really believed some things can happen,” Kapil Dev told SBS.

Pooran Singh's relatives too part in the cermony.

“It's a fantastic feeling. It's like making contact with someone you've never seen,” Pooran Singh's grand nephew said.

A flat tyre slowed the seven-hour road trip, so too did a monsoonal downpour. But it couldn't dampen the push to Pooran Singh's ancestral town.

“That really brought it home for us - the whole village was out there waiting for us,” Manpreet Singh said.

At Uppal Bhoupa, in northern India, gifts changed hands, religious ceremonies were observed and Pooran Sing's material legacy recognised.

He bequeathed 360-pounds to each of his four nephews, who built a home which still carries a special message.

“It was amazing to see the inscription outside the house. It said 'Pooran Singh. Australian' and it's written in pristine Punjabi!”, Manpreet Singh said.

A priest instructed Pooran Sing's great nephew Harmeel to participate in the final riverbank ritual.

It involved a symbolic dip in the Ganges before the much talked about ashes were opened, mixed with flowers and "holy" river water and rubbed on the body.

Then, in one simple motion Pooran Singh's wishes were finally recognised.

The ashes dissolved into the Ganges marking a dignified farewell.