Simranjeet Singh is a 36 year old professor who grew up in the United States of America wondering why no superheroes ever resembled anyone from his community. He didn’t want his children to go through the same and as hate crimes against the Sikh community keeps on increasing by the day in USA, Simranjeet decided to take it upon himself to create a superhero which resembles his community.
And would there have been a better option than Fauja Singh for the superhero? The book named, ‘Fauja Singh Keeps Going’, traces the story of the world’s oldest marathon runner and the adversities he faced in life. It also includes beautiful illustrations by BaljinderKaur and has been amongst the best sellers since it released on 25th August.
The book dives right into Fauja’s childhood at Beas village in Jalandhar district of Punjab. Born in 1911, Fauja couldn’t walk till he was five years old and it refrained him from attaining proper education. The doctors back then couldn’t identify the reason behind him not being able to walk nor could they explain how he miraculously started walking after he turned five. Even though he started to walk, Fauja was very weak and couldn’t walk much. It was only after he turned fifteen that he walked one mile, which left the villagers completely puzzled.
Later in the 1980s, Fauja immigrated to London to be with his family. Being in a country where no one spoke his language made him feel lonely. The loneliness forced Fauja to put on his running shoes and go for a run one day and there has been no turning back since then. He then underwent professional training and started to run at different events.
The most interesting aspect was the fact that Fauja didn’t know the difference between miles and kilometers. Before he started training, he used to run 20kms easily and thought that he could run 26miles without any hassles. It was only later that he found out that 26miles actually meant 42kms.
Fauja became the oldest man to run a marathon in 2011 when he completed the Toronto Waterfront Marathon at 100 years of age. He decided to call it quits from running in 2013 but continues to run just for his own enjoyment and for charities. Fauja even has a lot of world records against his name though they are not officially recorded due to his failure to provide a birth certificate.
Fauja Singh himself has written the foreword for the book and through which he encourages children to take up a healthy lifestyle to live long and break his record of the oldest person ever to run a marathon.