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84-year old's 'pilgrimage' to Kathmandu to meet Lumley

world Updated: Jul 28, 2009 15:52 IST

He is 84 and depends on his carved walking stick to step out. But, these factors did not deter Harka Bahadur Pun, a Gurkha veteran, from trekking for six hours and taking a 12-hour bus ride to reach the capital to hug 'goddess' Joanna Lumley, India-born British TV star.

Harka Bahadur Pun made the 'pilgrimage' from his village to express gratitude to Lumley, who is here on a visit, for championing the rights of the brave hearts of the UK Army.

And when the 84-year-old veteran of the Burma jungles finally came face to face with the actress yesterday, he brought tears to her eyes when she learned of his journey to give her his thanks.

Harka Bahadur Pun's pilgrimage from his village in western Nepal to Kathmandu involved an agonising six-hour trek along stony tracks to a village where he could catch a bus for the 12-hour journey to the mountain republic's capital, London-based Daily Mail reported.

The Gurkha veteran said: "You ask why an old man like me would want to do this. But before I die I made a promise to myself that I would come here one way or another to meet this wonderful woman called Joanna Lumley."

Lumley's own father, Major James Lumley, fought with the Gurkhas in Burma.