The Panchkula police came knocking at the door of a 69-year-old on Tuesday. Unlike routine, the police had not reached the doors of a house with a warrant but with a surprise birthday cake for its resident, Karan Puri.
Puri owns a popular bookshop at Panjab University in Chandigarh and lives alone at Sector 7 of Panchkula.
In the heartwarming video released by the Panchkula police on Twitter, that soon went viral, a team of the district’s women police station can be seen wishing him and singing ‘Happy Birthday’ for him as he bursts into tears.
Speaking to the Indian Express, Karan Puri said, “I was just roaming around the house with nothing to do, when suddenly a patrol car came and stopped outside. I thought they had stopped to scold me for being outside but instead they took out a cake and a cap and started singing. It was really overwhelming for me. I have never been much for emotions but it was so touching. The tears were a surprise for my own self.”
The plan came into being on April 26, two days prior to Puri’s birthday, when a 25-year-old Vishal Nijhawan Tweeted to the Panchkula police’s twitter handle, requesting them to plan a surprise for Puri who lives all alone. The prompt reply from Panchkula police on Twitter had instilled hope in Vishal that Puri will not be spending his birthday alone.
“I had met him during my college days at Panjab University, when I was a student of masters in English. I used to frequent his bookstore often and we would chat,” recounted Vishal. Even after Vishal graduated in 2017, he stayed in touch with Puri, who pushed him towards pursuing a career in the Civil Services. The two used to meet time and again. “He helped me get enrolled in PU for tuitions for UPSC. When I was having trouble finding a place to live, he asked me to stay with him for a few days and I did. He is like my grandfather to me and I am like a grandson to him,” he shared.
Puri has touched the life of several students who have lived in the premises of Panjab University. He has acted as a mentor to several of these students. His two sons stay in Delhi and Australia.
SHO Inspector Neha, who went to Puri’s house, said, “When we reached, he was outside his house and ran back on seeing us. As we called him out, he got apprehensive that we would scold. When we sang, he started crying. It was emotional for us as well. We were four women and all of us started crying too.” Inspector Neha was informed about Puri’s birthday on WhatsApp and following which she decided to take a cake for him, “It’s just a cake. If it makes anybody feel less lonely, it’s worth it,” she said.
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