Punjabis love for shifting to Canada is known to one and all and hence, it came as a surprise to no one when the country began to be called mini Punjab. Among the plethora of people who immigrated there and continue to do so for the lure of better jobs and lifestyles, 67-year-old, Nav Bhatia too followed the herd in 1980’s and has attended every single Raptors home game since 1995, given his love for basketball.
A Twitter user Muhammad Lila, who is a journalist by profession, recently tweeted Nav’s crushing story and tweeples were reduced in a pool of tears. “With the #Raptors about to hit the global stage, I’m going to share a story about what makes Toronto, and Canada, so special. It’s about a guy you’re going to be seeing a whole lot of. A Thread. [Hint: It’s about racism, sports, and why you’ll end up cheering for” (sic) the intro to his thread read, followed by, “When you think of the Raps, you probably think of Drake on the sidelines, as the team’s biggest fan. The thing is, he’s not. In Toronto, we love @Drake. But there’s someone else who symbolizes everything great about Toronto and Canada. This is Nav Bhatia. You’re going to see a lot of him waving his towel on TV. He’s 67 years old and still cheers louder than your teenage nephew. If you’ve ever been to a Raps game, you can’t miss him. But here’s what most people don’t know: He’s been at every single Raptors home game since 1995. That’ right: Every. Single. One. Through Damon, Vince, CB4, a zillion coaches, blackouts, blizzards, you name it. Big deal, right? Wait, there’s more. Bhatia came to Canada as an immigrant in the ‘80s with almost nothing. As a brown turbaned guy with an accent he couldn’t get a job as an engineer, so he wound up working as a car salesman at dealership in a rough part of town. Devastating, right? Nope. Not for Nav.”
Actor Siddharth of Rang De Basanti fame too came across this story and retweeted it with the caption, “What an amazing story! It’s obviously difficult to understand but every human being is in fact an immigrant. Read this inspiring thread about an amazing Canadian sikh man” (sic).
Check the thread here:
Giving a morality check to all of us, Nav’s story triggers a retrospection inside all of us and pushes us subtly to be well mannered, polite and develop compassion in the face of rising intolerance worldwide.