At 120 Dar Is Healthy Man Living With Four Generations

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“Today my elder daughter would be 93 if alive. But I have never seen her after marriage and not sure if she is alive,” he says. “I have even forgotten the name of village where she was married.”

A family pohto of Dar/The Legitimate


Syed Bilal

Growing older is a natural phenomenon. As one grows older in life, he or she has to undergo multiple emotional and physical changes, so is with Ghulam Mohammad Dar.

Dar is 120 years old man of south Kashmir’s Shamsipora Anantnag.

Even at this age, he is living a normal life though some complications are developed. He is witnesses to some crucial events of his life and lives fresh in his memory, notwithstanding his age factor.

“I garlanded Mohammad Ali Jinnah, the creator of Pakistan when he visited south Kashmir from Sialkot city by train till Jammu and by cart to south Kashmir city,” he recalls.

 Dar came to know about the arrival of Jinnah to Kashmir from the people working in the fields alongside him.

“One fine day I saw people rushing here and there from the fields and it caught my attention. On inquiring I was told that the leader of Muslims is arriving here called Ali Mohammad Jinnah,” he further recalls.

Dar also rushed along with hundreds of other people to Padshahi Bagh Bijbehara where the stage was all set for him to address the gathering.

In cart, Jinnah was travelling; Dar reminds that he was also carrying a white color goat.

“I was holding a garland of dates in my hand and amid tough struggle to pass off the crowd he reached near him and garlanded him with full excitement.

 Jinnah had stayed in the township for a brief time and later travelled in the same cart towards Srinagar.

Dar had walked by foot up to four kilometers to catch the glimpse of Jinnah.

A musician by profession, Dar believes it was the great achievement of his life.

Dar was part of a local music band called headed by renowned poet and singer Mukth Mir (Mukhtar Mir).

Hailing from the peasant family, another source of income for him was agriculture land he posses of his forefathers.

He has a fresh memory about many other issues unfolded in his life more than 70 years ago. Recalling his marriage, Dar says that he paid 40 bogues (currency) to the family of bride as marriage expenses out of his meager income.

He talks that the education system in Kashmir was abysmal and the only educated person in the whole area was a local pandith with just primary education background.

“Our children would send us letters from outside Kashmir and he was charging us to read those letters and write back to them,” he says.

“I remember a time when people were hardly able to arrange a phiran (traditional Kashmiri cloak) made up of suttal (thin fabric), the fabric that was imported from different corners of the world particularly from central Asia.” says Dar.

Ask him about his health sprit at this age, the pat comes reply, “I had never any medicine for any disease. I maintained my physical health with work culture and only once in recent past I have undergone a minor surgery for gallbladder removal. Rest no complications till this day,” He grins with confidence.      

Dar has six sons and one daughter. His one daughter died immediately after her birth.

Three years after the partition of India and Pakistan, Dar married his elder daughter in some remote village of south Kashmir. Ironically, after the marriage, he lost the complete contact with her and till; this day he has no information about her whereabouts.

“Today my elder daughter would be 93 if alive. But I have never seen her after marriage and not sure if she is alive,” he says. “I have even forgotten the name of village where she was married.”

Dar is the great grandfather and is living with his four generations.

“My son wears glasses due to his poor eyesight. But I don’t have any issues of eyesight and I can easily pass the thread to the needle.”

He reminds his times of sitting in the main Chowk of Shamshipora waiting curiously for a programme to be telecasted on community Television sets.

“I remember when social awareness programs were telecasted on direction of Mahatma Gandhi in rural areas of India. I along with dozens of other people would wait for its telecast on small community TV sets”.

Dar is married twice though his elder son married five times so far.

 At the age of 120, Dar is a happy man and is prepared to leave this world anytime.

“My mother had prayed for me to live for four more generations and I did live to see. I will die as a satisfied man,” he sighs with hope and positivity on his face.

 

 

 

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