Foreword by Martin
Foreword to The Gulab Archipelago
by Martin Kendall
I have been honoured to be invited to write a foreword to The Gulab Archipelago, having been friends with Karim during the period it covers as we attended the same school and walked to school together.
Indeed, I was witness to one of the racial attacks which Karim suffered and, to my eternal shame, was intimidated by ‘Grubs’ to the extent that I remained a witness and not a protector.
We shared many experiences during those school days, which we were informed were the best days of our lives. Of course, we did not believe that at the time.
As Karim documents, Britain was going through many changes as the seventies started, often violent. Not only racial tension but industrial action was rife: the three day week, inflation, general hooliganism, unemployment and terrorist activity all contributed to an uncertain period in our lives. However, through it all the young guy from Kenya carried on, shrugging off all setbacks with a smile and a shrug of the shoulders.
There are some people in life who have an inner peace which transcends all which goes on around them. This can often appear to make them disinterested in their surroundings. However, in reality it demonstrates a strength of character which would benefit us all.
Karim is one of those people.
The Gulab Archipelago explains how this inner peace is achieved.
In retrospect, those days were perhaps not the best but probably the most formative we had.
We just didn’t appreciate it at the time.