Major Aziz Bhatti is an iconic Pakistan military servant who laid himself during the war of 1965, to protect his country. For his selflessness he was given the Nishaan-e-Haider, the highest military award. To this day, Pakistani children are taught Major Bhatti’s life as an example and this Defence Day, here are some things you probably didn’t know about Major Bhatti, straight from his family:
1. His mother used to call him Raja out of love.
She said he was extremely generous, quite like a Raja (king).
2. He is buried in the courtyard of his ancestral home because his mother could not go to the graveyard everyday and wanted her son near her.
3. When one of his friends had to get his head shaved off, he voluntarily shaved his own so his friend would not feel awkward or ashamed.
4. He loved and learned many languages in his lifetime.
5. He was fluent in German and not only did he start reading the Quran in German but he also wrote his niece this letter in ‘63, in German:
“It takes little to be happy,
And he who is happy is King.”
6. He also enjoyed playing instruments and played the Harmonica very well.
7. He was a very family-oriented man.
8. He always drove a quicklee (small motorbike).
9. He grew up in Hong Kong, under the Japanese occupation, as a teenager.
10. He was very fond of swimming and movies, regularly taking his family out.
11. Gardening was also something that he was very fond of.
12. When the children were naughty, his wife would say that she would complain to him. He would always pretend to be cross with them and ask her to intervene and “save them”.
13. He was very precise and proper about everything. Even small teas and lunches required the best cutlery and proper napkins etc.
14. He has a profound knowledge of all things history and military tactics.
15. “Once, while walking from Burch to Ladian in Gujrat, Mummy got tired and asked him to hold me. He picked his shirt and asked her to place me there so he didn’t have to crush me (I was only a few months old)” – His, then niece and now, daughter-in-law.
16. He did not believe in corporal punishment.
17. When his children would misbehave, his wife would scare them by saying, “when Aba Ji comes home I will tell him you’ve been naughty”. She would complain to him but he would tell her that “I will pretend to hit one of them and you come and save them”.
18. He has a very mild temperament that can be shown through this incident. One day, when he came back from the office, his wife began crying out of desperation and complained that the children had been very naughty that day. He agreed to pretend till he saved them but she was so annoyed that she left the room. He called out in despair when there was no response, “Zarina, you promised to stop me!” The children figured out that he wasn’t serious and ran away but he made them promise not to pester their mom anymore.