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Life lessons from 138-year-old Habib Miyan

Last updated on: May 24, 2007 16:43 IST

Habib Miyan, acknowledged by the Limca Book of Records as the oldest Indian, turned 138 this week, with greetings pouring from all over.

Clad in a white kurta and paijama, Habib says, "I have requested many times to the God that he should send his messengers to take me. But, Allah has been kind enough that I could go to Haj twice and could see my sixth generation. Khuda ke ghar bhi na jayenge bin bulawe ke." (I won't go to even God's place without an invitation)

Even at this age, Habib has his teeth intact and doesn't have any medical conditions like diabetes and blood pressure. He is also a meat lover. But when he turned 60, he lost sight in both eyes.

About his habits, Chuttan Miyan, his great-great grandson says, "Habib Miyan is very disciplined. He wakes up on time for his prayers. He has a couple of toasts and tea for breakfast while a meal consists of daal, rice, roti. Sometimes on Sundays, he asks us to get meat."

Habib has done the Haj pilgrimage twice and has always got a warm reception from the UAE authorities. He says, "Bade hi nek log the, doctor laga rakhe the, achcha intezaam tha," (They were good people, they had doctors and other necessary arrangements for me).

In Jaipur, where he is a minor celebrity of sorts, even strangers come down to meet him on his birthday.

"One summer, a gentleman from Ananad in Gujarat had come to meet him on a particularly hot day. I denied him entry, saying that Miyan was not well. But Miyan, who heard me, chided me and said that guests are to be treated like God," Chutaan added.

Habib's biggest moment was when he met President A P J Abdul Kalaam during the latter's visit to Jaipur for Rajasthan Day celebrations on April 30.

On meeting the President, Habib says, "Hindustan ke baadshah se mulaqat achchee thee" (It was nice meeting the President of India).

Habib, who was a trumpet player in the erstwhile band of the Jaipur state, retired in 1938. He is also a cricket fan.

About cricket he says, "I can't see, but during the World Cup I asked my grandson Chuttan to update me whenever India and Pakistan played. But the day these teams were out of the World Cup it was disappointing. But, I later followed the matches of Sri Lanka. That is a nice team."

Though Habib is a great fan of Sachin Tendulkar, Zaheer Abbas, Sunil Gavaskar, he is critical of wicketkeeper-batsman Mahendra Singh Dhoni. He feels Dhoni 'fashion jyaada karne laga hai, khel main dhyan kam hai'.

On his birthday, Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje sent him a letter and apologised for not being part of the celebrations and prayed for his well being.

Habib Miyan says, "I just pray for the well being of the country, these terrorists can not be successful in their mission of dividing India and Indians."

Ashish Mehta in Jaipur
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