FORTY-ONE years ago, Lakhubhai Pathak landed in London with 30 pounds in his pocket, without a friend in the big city, without a job in hand, and without a roof over his head, but with his heart puffed with hope.
Four decades later, the Gujarati, who had dropped out of his school after the fourth standard, is Britain's pickle king, speaking broken English, figuring among UK's rich and famous and suing P.V. Narasimha Rao.
A house—for his wife and their six children—was his most pressing need when he reached Britain in 1955. Any house, even in the seedier parts of the city, would do. Today, he lives in Mexico, owns flats in London, and has an apartment in Bombay.
The long journey began thus. Shanta Gauri would make bhujiya and papad at home, and the young man would go door to door selling them. The rest, as they say, is history. But Pathak does not take pride in that. Ultimately, it was his efforts that nailed one of the nation's most powerful men.
Says he: "Meri auqaat kya hai, meri liyaqat kya...