Harjeet Brar Bajakhana: An Ideal Kabaddi Player
Harjeet Brar Bajakhana was one of the best Indian Raider to ever play the game of Kabaddi. He was the one who feared none.
Harjeet Brar was ruthless like a warrior but calm as a saint.
He had strength of a thousand men but kindness of a stranger.
He had the unmatched explosive power but was gentle as a child.
He had the speed of a Cheetah and the courage of a Lion.
He had the agility of a squirrel and the patience compared to none.
He was an Ideal Kabaddi player.
Humble Beginnings with Kabaddi
Harjit Brar was born on September 05, 1971 in the town of Bajakhana, District Faridkot, Punjab (India).
He was a big kid with a strong built and stature. Since Kabaddi was immensely popular in rural Punjab at that time, his father, Sardar Bakshish Singh encouraged him to play this sport.
He started to play in local tournaments and soon made his presence felt in all the games he played. When Harjit Brar was in 8th standard, he participated in Mini Games at Guahati and won the tournament.
Seeing his determination and grip on the game, he was admitted to Sports School, Jalandhar, Punjab (India) and this is from where his professional Kabadi career took off.
During one of his first professional kabbadi matches at Kotha Guru Ka village, he went for only two raids. However he showed exemplary determination and courage which earned him much admiration from spectators, coaches, fellow players and above all the opponents.
He was part of the Canadian Kabaddi Team.
The best was yet to come
He made his International debut in 1994, when he came to play in Canada.
His unmatched qualities and respect he showed for opponents soon made him the man of the masses.
Harjit Bajakhana became a synonym to Kabaddi.
During the final of 1996 Kabaddi World Cup, prize money of one lakh Rupees was awarded for his single wining raid. At one time in Canada, his one raid attracted a bet of $35,000.00. Such was his stature.
He was married to Narinderjit Kaur and was blessed with a lovely daughter, Gagan Harjit Kaur, a year later.
Just when Harjeet Brar was at the epitome of success, tragedy stuck.
Fateful day of April 16, 1998
On April 16, 1998, Harjit Brar Bajakhana was killed in a tragic road accident along with three other prominent Kabbadi players, Talwar Kaonke, Kewal Lopoke and Kewal Sekha. Sukhchain Singh of Sidhwan Kalan village sustained serious injuries and was admitted to PGI. Following his treatment he was discharged from the hospital.
According to their family members, Kabaddi players were on their way to New Delhi to acquire visas for their travel abroad. They were travelling on the Kharar-Morinda stretch of National Highway 95, in a Gypsy bearing registration number PB-10-U-0097. The accident took place near the town of Morinda, when a truck bearing registration number HR-35-2371, collided head on with their vehicle. It lead to the killing of four of them on the spot and seriously injuring the fifth occupant.
All four Kabaddi players were brought to a Kharar Hospital. Following the post-mortem examination, their bodies were subsequently released to their relatives.
Niamudeen, the driver of the truck escaped unhurt. He was booked under sections 279, 338, 427 and 304A of the Indian Panel Code (IPC).
Harjit Bajakhana’s death brought an abrupt end of an era. The game of Kabaddi lost its proudest possession. His death created a sudden a gap in the World of Kabaddi which will never be filled.
Harjeet Bajakhana had achieved what none other Kabaddi player could. Despite his immense popularity and financial windfall, he remained humble and kept the fame monster at bay.
Fourteen years after his death, his legacy lives on. His portraits and posters still sell like hot cakes. Many National and International Tournaments are held from time to time in the memory of this legend of Kabaddi.
Although Harjit is not amongst us, his spirit still drives the youth of Punjab.