October 31

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My “ordinary” dad

A personal story from me this time.

My dad was born in a small town in the backwaters of Kerala, India. Anyone who has been to Kerala knows that it is covered in coconut trees and my father’s family were coconut tradesman. He was born into a large family, as was typical in those days.  He had 6 brothers and 3 sisters and being one of the older male children he had the responsibility of providing for his family, when his father prematurely passed away.  He was always very studious.  He was the first member of his family to go to University (and the only one in his generation).  After graduation he moved to Assam, over 3300km away, to find a better life for his family.  Whilst he was in Assam, he was bitten by a mosquito, got malaria, and was on death’s door-step.  That could have been the end of this story.

Luckily, he received the right treatment, at the right time, and that meant he made a full recovery.  He financially supported all 3 of his sisters, until they were married.  He helped his brothers, nephews, and nieces to get started on their careers.  At one stage, our home felt like a hotel, with the number of people who were staying with us. He is also the reason why we live in London now.  He moved us to the UK towards the tail-end of his 30 year career as an Aviation Engineer.  I am his only child, but he was happiest when he was with his grand-child (seen in the photo above a few weeks before he passed away).  He died 12 years ago, at the age of 70.

I only found out a couple of days ago, that he had malaria in his early 20’s.  It made me think – if he had died:  My mum would never have met him and shared a 34 year marriage.  THERE WOULD BE NO ME!  No grand-child. No 30 year career in Aviation. No support for his family.  Dad was an ordinary human being, that lived a full-life.  But, his ordinary life had an extraordinary impact on many lives.

Each of us has the “right” to live.  Malaria is currently cheating people of this opportunity.  It is cutting short lives that could have gone on to achieve incredible things, even more so than my father did!  Malaria will continue to steal future generations, particularly in Africa and India, until we unite to turn the tide, and return “hope” to future generations.  To find out more about what you can do, read my previous blog – Your chance to change the world in 10 minutes.  Are you willing?…. https://gskpulsevolunteers.com/author/mnmuk2018/

#PULSE10  #MalariaNoMoreUK