| Malaysia | 30 Aug 2016 | Asia Samachar |
Jagir Kaur, an ordinary elderly Sikh lady who passed away at the ripe age of 91 years old earlier this week, had survived two major battles: cancer and the bloody partition of Punjab in 1947.
She passed away on 27 Aug 2016 leaving behind a huge family network: 6 children, 17 grandchildren, 29 great grandchildren and 2 great-great-grandchildren.
“She was always a very positive and very strong person. She liked to help others. A very hard working woman,” her eldest grandchild Raajdev Singh Sidhu tells Asia Samachar.
In her early 20s then, like millions of others, Jagir and her husband Mokand Singh Sidhu (Barewala), found themselves right smack in an impending bloody partition of Punjab. Sikhs had mostly migrated towards East Punjab in today’s India after the partition in 1947 that saw the creation of Pakistan.
Jagir and her husband were then living in Multan in today’s Punjab of Pakistan.
“They had to leave Pakistan with her brother carrying her eldest son who was two months old on a bullcart, for three days to get to a railway station to catch a train to Punjab,” her son Gurdev Singh Sidhu tells Asia Samachar, an online newspaper for Sikhs in Southeast Asia.
Mokand stayed behind thinking he could get some money for his substantial crops. “In the end, he left empty handed,” he adds.
The young couple then settled on the Indian side of Punjab, like millions of other fellow-Sikhs, forced to start anew.
In 1952, Mokand migrated to Malaya, with Jagir joining him in 1955 along with her three kids.
In Malaya, Mokhand found a job in the transport services. “He was a lorry driver all his life until retiring at 60. He always said he helped built Genting Highlands,” says Gurdev.
The family had lived in Ampang before moving to Setapak in 1969. Later, when he retired, they moved in with their son and family in Ampang again.
Back to Punjab
The couple visited India again for the first time 20 years later in 1975. This was the last time Jagir meets her mother.
“She [Jagir ] was the happiest person in the world on the day they left. They arrived at her mother’s village late in the evening. Both mother and daughter are meeting after 20 years. They sat the whole night talking, then before sunrise both went to sleep. That was the last she saw her mother. She never got up,” says Gurdev, who retired as a security personnel with the Malaysian multinational company YTL.
When asked about her character, Jagir’s family member said she was always smiling and laughing, ever prepared to shower everyone with blessings and giving motherly advise to all.
“She never gave up easily. She had a broken pelvis and yet it didn’t stop her from moving about. Two days after her operation, she was up and moving about,” says Raajdev.
Jagir, who had survived breast cancer in 2000, also placed importance on educating the family, who today include pilots, engineers and nurses.
Note: Sehaj Path Da Bhog will be from 10am to 12pm on 4 Sept 2016 (Sun) at Gurdwara Sahib Lembah Jaya, Ampang, Selangor. Contact persons: Gurdev 012.2922999, Raajdev 012.2067964
ASIA SAMACHAR is an online newspaper for Sikhs in Southeast Asia and surrounding countries. We have a Facebook page, do give it a LIKE! Follow us on Twitter. Visit our website: www.asiasamachar.com
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