It was a man’s last journey with a difference where nobody wept, cried or consoled the family. Instead, relatives were seen cracking jokes to celebrate the king-size life led by the grand old man.
Nazar Singh Gill, Europe's oldest man, who died at the age of 111 years, was cremated in a simple but memorable ceremony at his native village Fazalpur in Jalandhar on Wednesday.
Contrary to reports that the family was planning a mega ceremony, Nazar was cremated as per Sikh rituals. His sons did everything what their father had always relished. Nazar was dressed in his favourite white “kurta” on his last journey. As his body was being taken in a mini-truck to the crematorium, his grandson announced that nobody would weep as his grandfather lived a very happy and fulfilling life.
Before lighting the pyre, Nazar’s UK-based son Swaran Singh offered favourite liquor, almonds, pure ghee and “daliya” (porridge) to his father. According to the family, Nazar used to take two pegs of liquor every evening before dinner.
Nazar, who left behind five sons, four daughters, 34 grandchildren and 64 great-grandchildren, celebrated his 111th birthday in his village on June 8. He breathed his last on June 21.
When Nazar was offered liquor on the pyre, his eldest son, Kartar Singh, cracked a joke that he should also be given water to mix it with liquor. In a witty reply, Nazar’s UK-based son Charan Singh Gill said: “Brother you forgot, our father never used to add water to his drinks.”
Nazar’s grandson Lakhbir Singh said his grandfather had lately developed a liking for country-made liquor. “He demanded desi daaru some 10 days back. Though my grandfather had a large collection of foreign-made liquor, he wanted to savour country-made liquor as he had not tasted it for the past around 20 years,” said Lakhbir.
After the cremation, Nazar’s family and relatives assembled for a mega lunch in which sweets were also served.
While Nazar had no birth certificate, his passport mentions June 8, 1904, as his date of birth. In 1967, at the age of 63, Nazar, a farmer who had never been to school, shifted to the UK to joint his eldest daughter Resham Kaur at Walsall in the West Midlands. After working for nearly 20 years, he settled in Sunderland in 1989. He had come to Punjab on January 25 this to spend time with his eldest son Kartar Singh’s family.