Manali: As former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee turned 89 on Thursday, people of Pirni and another nearby villages kept their tradition by celebrating the senior BJP leader`s birthday.
Vajpayee considers Manali as his second home and he even had a small house in adjoining Pirni village, which he visited regularly till 2007.
Villagers from all walks of life assembled at a local school here and offered prayers for his long life.
Kundan Lal, ex-village pradhan fondly remembered Vajpayee as "an excellent leader" and said he has no match in "simplicity, wit and compassion."
"Ataljee used to meet every villager personally and had taken keen interest in development of the village and welfare of people," he recalled.
Even the caretaker of his summer cottage at Prini, Sukhram remembered the days when Manali vibrated with unusual activity during the visit of Vajpayee when he served as Prime Minister of the country.
"Baap jee was very fond of trout fish and local kadhi and it was here in Manali where he penned some of his famous poems," Lal said.
He said that Vajpayee is very fond of Manali but due to failing health he has not been able to visit the place in the past few years but his love for the people of Manali has not diminished.