His life was always a constant fight against all odds. He overcame the hardest of hard times with resilience, and never shied away from a challenge.
Latheef, a native of Bevincha in Kasaragod district, is a Class II dropout, but his life teaches many lessons. Many of the filmi tales would definitely pale before the grinding life story of Latheef.
50 liters of tea in 12 hours
Latheef left his home for Mumbai (then Bombay) at a young age and started to work in hotels there, He had to painstakingly work hard to make ends meet that he used to daily make 50 liters of tea in a 12-hour work schedule. After two years of stay in Mumbai, he finally decided to return to his home town.
Aaziya came into his life when Latheef was a daily wager, and later he became a lorry cleaner to support his young family. Latheef dreamed big about his life but fate had something dreadful in store for him.
The bad fall
It was drizzling on that fateful day. When Latheef tried to jump into a moving lorry laden with stones, he slipped and fell, and the rear wheels of the truck ran over his left leg. Latheef was in a state of coma for one month at the Kozhikode Medical College.
Nothing can beat him
Aaziya was pregnant when the accident happened, and Latheef’s son was born while he was in the hospital. Latheef had to spend many months at the Kozhikode Medical College for treatment, and his newly-born son was his only bundle of joy in the midst of pain and agony.
Later, Latheef was shifted to a specialty hospital in Mengaluru. As part of the treatment, the doctors amputated his left leg putting Latheef in great mental distress. That was when he cried for the first time in his life. But on that day he also made up his mind to face life head on and move forward with great resolve and determination. ‘Nothing can beat me’ was his credo of life.
Mind is everything
One again Latheef started to take baby steps his life with one leg and two walking sticks. He tried everything to start a new life – from opening a wayside shop to selling fish. But nothing turned out be income generating ventures. And finally he opened a hotel in the space rented out by the mosque in Bevincha.
With his earlier experience working at hotels in Mumbai, Latheef started serving tasty biriyanis and ghee rice at his hotel, which he runs without any help. Though the income is quite minimal, Latheef is happy that he is doing something worthwhile rather than spending his life in a bed. Now, his mind is fully focused on his daughter’s marriage, which is four months away.
Latheef is a perfect example of how one can come up trumps against all odds.