Dad was born in the town of Bharuch, in Gujarat in 1919, a regional centre of commerce on the Namada River. His father, an accountant, ran a company importing coconuts. One of nine children he loved sport especially swimming, which he did surreptitiously against his parents’ wishes after a friend died of drowning.
He swam in the Namada river which is about a mile wide and would regularly swim across and back. In his will he asked that his ashes be scattered in the river, such was his attachment to it. He was keen to become a doctor and qualified in medicine in Mumbai. Whilst there he developed a life-long interest in politics. He joined the congress party and heard speeches from both Gandhi and Nehru.
After qualifying and working in hospitals in Mumbai he wanted to train further and become a surgeon, as the best place to do that was the UK. He raised the funds to come to the UK in 1945 and spent four years training to be a surgeon in Edinburgh and London.
During his first year he kept a diary detailing his experiences and thoughts of life in the UK. After qualifying he worked at Wolverhampton Hospital for two years to gain experience and pay off his debts. One of his many duties included being the on-field medic for West Bromwich Albion Football Club.