Monday, 3 February 2014


In a typical winter weather in Punjab a car trip was made from Chandigarh to interiors of Punjab. The temperature was 15 C  , it was sunny as the fog had just cleared.

As a profesional navigator I took the role of plotting the course to reach Village Fazalpur in Punjab.

Our friend Google  Maps gave me two options in Punjab Pakistan and one in Punjab India. Obviously we wanted to go to the one in Punjab India.

All set the passage was punctuated  by stopping at Hoshiarpurian Da Dhaba which serves the best burfi and basen  ( a fudge made with milk and cookies made of Chickpeas). It is always good because they make it every day and sell what ever they make.
Me with Najjar Singh Gill 

On our trip to Fazalpur we had to take a right on the GT Road and my friend who was driving decided to go left as he had been to that village. Now being a professional navigator this was unexplainable. The only explanation I thought was there could be another village by that name which was not displayed by Google.

We also took a wrong turn, then called the people in the village and got fresh directions, so much for the GPS.
We had gone 10 km in the wrong direction , so had to come 10 Km back and then take a right turn.

Eventually we reached the place - It was called Fazalpur and it was  marked in Google (later searched on Lap Top) , just did not show when searched. The coordinates are + 31.1555 +75.4130   (Click the coordinates to visit the village)

It was important to find the exact location where  I met Najjar Singh Gill a resident of this village. He was born in 1904, a leap year, 3rd Modern Olympics in St Louis Missouri ,USA, the same year Cary Grant was born. Najjar Singh was in good health and did no look a day order than present day 80 +. He lost is wife five years ago and they raised 7 boys and 3 girls. The eldest was with him and was in his 80th year.
Standing Tall at 110 years

He had all his faculties but only one of his original tooth with which he likes to eat almonds. Regular vegetarian diet  in small quantities and last meal eaten at 7 PM  and then waking up early. 

Lives on the first floor so has to go up and down the stairs. Uses an ornamental walking stick which is 25 years old.

He is on no medication till now - Blood Pressure or diabetes.  Only medication is a Dispirin to help blood thining. In fact he has a sweet tooth and indulges. Likes his Scotch whisky once in a while.

Lest I say I did meet my future self. I got my picture taken with him.

What keeps him going is love from his large family  and the love from the entire village which he inspects every morning during his daily walk. He was joyful  and seems he had found his purpose to wake up in the morning. He had found a way to enjoy the gift of life by looking after his body, mind and soul.

The family and the village people have a role to play too.

Capt. Sarab Sandhu

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