Fauja to Punjabi youth: Shun drugs

Fauja Singh, the 101-year-old marathon runner, says the youth of Punjab should shun drugs immediately if they want to succeed in their lives.

"I live in Britain and it pains me immensely to see Punjabi youth getting a bad name worldwide for consuming drugs," he told The Indian Express on the sidelines of a function organised to honour him at Arya College, Civil Lines, here on Tuesday.

"Pinni, warm water, a cup of milk at night and two meals a day (dal and chapati) is what keeps me healthy and gives me stamina to run at the age of 101," said the 'Running Baba'. "I do not say that I have never tasted meat but only when I had no other option to eat outside India on tours of various countries. After all, you have to eat something to survive."

Asserting that "now I am a complete vegetarian", he said a person consuming chicken and alcohol could never run because it makes one lethargic.

Singh, who will turn 102 in April this year, started running at 89 "to come out of the trauma of my son's death". He lost his eldest son at a young age and now lives with his younger son in Britain. "Determination to do something and come out of the trauma of my son's death was the only thing that made me run at 89, a number which maximum people do not even reach."

Also known as 'Turbaned Tornado', he feels "happiness is the only diet of an old man which keeps him going". "I never accept myself as an old man and still feel young at heart. If I can, I still want to jump like a 16-year-old and catch the bus," he said. "No rice, curry and other food items with lace and eating pinni 12 months a year is a heavenly diet for the old."

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