Ameer's Personal Particulars
Name: Ameer Ali is my name, not Ameer-the-Great as you might insist.
Age: 72 - May 2003.
Genealogy: I am a direct descendant of the most distinguished family ever lived. Their names are Adam and Hawah (Eve). Nearer in the time-tunnel, my great-grand-father was also Adam and my great-grand-mother Hawah. My father's name is Yusoff. He was in Malaya during the war, and the family in India. It was my mother, Alima, who brought me up.
Family: My wife lives on in my memory. I am married again.
Place of Birth: I was born in Panaikulam. It is a village in Raama-naatha-puram district, which is in southern Tamil Nadu in India. If you have no idea where the village is, look at a map of India. If you still cannot locate it, you have two options: south of Panaikulam, within a kilometre, flows the River Vai-Ghai and on the north, within the same distance, lies Bay of Bengal.
Academic Education: I passed Standard VIII in the village Tamil school. The school did not have English classes. However, depending upon his mood, the Saar taught us English in perfect Tamil: Daay, Paiya! Oh, Boy! theese is onnu (one), theese is toowu and so on until he counted tennu. We were awe struck at Saar's command of English. The Saar (Mr Nataraja Achari) was however an excellent arithmetic teacher and a firm disciplinarian besides being the Headmaster. He was a dedicated teacher.
There was a Tamil scholar in the village. He was known as Pundit Abdul Majeed. He was related to me as he was to most of the villagers. Whenever he felt like it, he would teach us, in his house, Ramayana, Mahabaratha, Nalavenba, Naidatham and Thirukkural. We were about 10 students. I cannot say who enjoyed more: the Pundit (teaching us) or we (listening to him). The boys immensely enjoyed the classes. In the later years, when I read Greek mythology, I remembered the Pundit.
The religious classes were a granary of knowledge. Alimsa, Osthathu and Asarathu taught us Islam explaining in minute detail how Allah would beat us if we did, or did not, do this or that. If you scratch your head, Allah would beat you. If you shake your legs, Allah would beat you. If you pass water in the lake, Allah would demand that you drink all the water in the lake. If you don't, He would beat you until you drink all the water which, you were also informed, you could not drink. Do not stand and urinate. If you do, Allah will ... and so on and on. We thus spent one-third of each day of the week in religious classes and learnt, over the years, you know what - about Allah's beatings.
My beloved mother was glad that I was not into English, the Satanic language. She wanted to ensure in her own innocent way a place in Paradise for her son. She also made sure that I memorised the Quran as much as possible. I did not let my loving mother down.
It was in the later years that I learnt English and studied Islam, the Quran, the Hadith and other literature written by distinguished Imams and eminent scholars. Alhamdhulillah. Praise be to Allah.
Career: When the war was over, I left for Malaya as was the custom of all Panaikulamans for generations. In the course of my employment, I handled copra, rice, flour etc and sold from ice-water to ambrosia, baby-powder to heavy tractors, pharmaceuticals to electrical appliances. As for now, I am too busy to seek employment. In any case, no one would offer me employment.