I had a Dad.

On April 22nd 1997 my father who I didn’t see terribly often as he lived in Canada came through London. I was sitting with him at a friends house in Hounslow when he told me that there was a pretty good chance that he had cancer and that it was ‘ok’. As far as I am aware I was the first of his six kids that he told but may be wrong.

Turns out he was on his way back from North Korea on his way to Cuba, where he was stuck for some time because he walked into the hospital with a vertebrae missing.

I didn’t see him again till his birthday in August by which time his lumbering  frame was reduced to a skeleton and his heavily accented but powerful voice reduced to a whisper; with turned out to be my last.


Tonight I was at a  party and was asked “have you seen your Dad’s name in the news?”.

Erm? What? Like y’know – dead, longtime, missed.

“Aravindan Balakrishnan”

err – who?

Psycho Maoist Cult dude, which obviously I had heard about but didn’t get the connection.

So here I am googling the whole thing and discovering all sorts of interesting things.

Here’s a selection:

Having avoided party politics my entire life, and reading the various diatribes – I find myself absolutely fascinated by all this, especially knowing fine well that ‘Truth’ and ‘Politics’ are  by definition mutually exclusive, leaving everything in the angst of the beholder.  Having said that, whilst I a few  the people mentioned in the various articles I remember, and I did indeed go to Albania in the 80’s and was exposed to the then government. I was 12. Mental.

I’m now 42, married, two kids and as a first generation geek that never really grasped any level of doctrine since logic dictates that  the only constant in life is change.

But find myself nonetheless considering the profound reality that that the insanity of a currently Live mad-man by way of  the ‘back in the day’ machine is  going to be most likely forever associated with that of a particular dead man, my Dad. 

So politics and fucking psycho’s aside – I just wanted to say – I had a Dad. He loved his kids. Was glue to the entire extended family. Was good to his friends. Was an inspiration to others. Could command a room but seriously could not do small talk, utterly socially inept. Loved watching dodgy soap opera’s in his pyjama’s. Was a fantastic cook. Was shockingly good at Monopoly and most card games. Was understanding when I dropped out of University to be like, a DJ and supported me when I decided to write a music fanzine. Told me that there was no point in having a conversation with me because I wasn’t intellectually ‘there’ yet  and then just as I could sort of keep up in my 20’s. Died.

I guess that’s all I have to say about that.

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