The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Habib to Haji, in 125 yrs

Jaipur, June 19: Habib Miyan’s wish has taken some time to come true — officially 125 years, unofficially 132.

Now, he is just months away from being called Haji Habib Miyan, as the contender to the title of the world’s oldest person has always wanted.

The stage is set for the fulfilment of Habib Miyan’s cherished desire to go on a pilgrimage to Mecca, thanks to the generosity of 20-year-old Ejaz Ahmed, a UK-based businessman.

Ejaz is not only sponsoring Habib Miyan’s trip but also that of his grandsons Chuttan Khan and Mehmood after he learnt about Habib Miyan’s desire through the media.

Ejaz, the chairman of a finance company, has remitted Rs 2.7 lakh to Habib Miyan’s account in the State Bank of India’s Transport Nagar branch. The bank conveyed the “good news” to Habib Miyan and his family on Tuesday.

An overwhelmed Habib Miyan, whose eyes turned moist with the news, has been praying since for the well being of his benefactor.

The family today submitted applications for the pilgrims’ visa and for Haj. The trio is likely to embark on the journey in the last week of December. Mehmood said the entire family is preparing to go to New Delhi to see them off.

Chuttan Khan has written to Guinness, asking that they consider his grandfather’s claim of being the oldest man on earth.

According to the Guinness Book of World Records, Jeane Louise Calment of France, who died at 122 in 1997, is the oldest person so far. Kamato Hongo of Japan, at 114, occupies the slot of the oldest living person.

The claim of Habib Miyan, a former clarinet player in the princely state of Jaipur’s band, to both categories was strengthened after Jaipur’s executive magistrate recently issued him a certificate, saying his age is 125 on the basis of his pension book, which says May 20, 1878, is his date of birth.

Counting the birthdays he has spent so far, Habib Miyan claims he is 132. But “everything is unofficial about it”, he confesses.

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