Some soldiers never fade away; they just keep soldiering on with their usual fire and thunder, standing tall and proud – even at 106. A decorated war veteran who has seen action in World War II, Major Bakhtawar Singh Brar, who retired from the 6 Kumaon Regiment in 1963. But Major Brar was not ready to hang up his boots.
According to him life has to go on; a person is never useless in life. Performance may go down, but a man is always capable of doing something or the other for himself and his family as well as for his country.
After moving to the US in 1968, his proud spirit refused to let him accept the welfare pension scheme offered by the US government. Instead he and his wife chose to work in lowly paid. Then, after some time, he and his son Harbinder together bought a 60 acres of farmland. Today he’s an active farmer with 10,000 acres of farmlands , where he grows pistachios, almonds and grapes, still as strong and active as ever.
He says hard work is the best tonic to stay fit and active. It his firm belief that “Healthy living and healthy aging has given me a good life”.
As a young child growing up in Faridkot, he never let circumstances get the better of him. With no electricity in his home, he studied under the light of the streetlamp and was able to complete his matriculation. Thereafter, for his commission in the Army too he cleared all his exams with distinction.
All in all, Maj. Bakhtawar has led a charmed life. Twice he was hit by bullets in action, but both times he was unharmed; once the bullet hit his turban and another time his lunch box.