When I got married, forty six years ago, I did not expect to live beyond forty five or fifty. I didn't think my marriage would last very long, as I was short-tempered and prone to making hasty decisions. And I was haunted by what a palmist (my father's cousin from Bombay) had told me (in the presence of many cousins): "Don't ever marry, within three years your marriage will break up, and it will be entirely your fault". At that time my father told me not to take the man seriously, he was known to be a trouble maker. I may have mentioned this man (Dr. Hashim Lakhani) in one of my blogs, if I haven't I'll write something about him one of these days.

So, forty six years later I look back and wonder whether if I'd been an illiterate lout (like some of my fellow Memons), I'd have stuck it out. When my wife's brothers handed me her share of their father's inheritance money, I'm sure they'd have been worried that I'd disappear with it (it would have been worth many millions in today's money). An unscrupulous Memon would have taken a second wife, put her in an apartment far away from his house, and would have told his children about her on his death bed. But I'd been brought up strictly, my father had put me in a good school where the Catholic priests would beat children up if they did anything wrong. Besides my parents, the Catholic priests and teachers should also be credited for ensuring that I'd always be honest and truthful.

Today, I am grateful that I have seven grand-children with whom I'm able to spend time in these days when most people don't have time for others, due to their preoccupation with Whattsapp videos. I should also be grateful to my late parents who ensured that I had a good education (despite being poor) and bought good books to read (a habit I still have). In fact, if I were asked what was the most precious thing that my father left me, I'd say "A good education and the habit of reading". Those who don't read are not really alive, they may be walking around and talking to others, but they are just like the living dead.