The partition of India was one of those epoch changing events of modern history that have tended in recent years to slip out of public consciousness. The British controlled India until 1947, whereupon independence was given to both India and Pakistan. The rationale associated with dividing the country into two was based on irreconcilable differences between the Hindu and Muslim sectors of Indian society, necessitating the creation of two separate nations in order to safely accommodate these differences. Pakistan would be substantively Muslim and India substantively Hindu. What neither the British nor the emerging governments in India and Pakistan was the genocidal levels of violence that accompanied the mass removals as Muslims moved north and Hindus moved south.
Doctor Haresh Mirani’s early life was very much informed by the difficulties of the post partition experience. His parents had managed to escape from Sindh as it reverted to Pakistan, settling first in one of the many refugee camps that sprang up around Bombay, and later in the teeming district of the Mahim. K. Mirani Senior worked as a clerk within the financial department of the Burmah/Shell organization in Bombay, where his primary objective, something that Doctor Mirani senses at times might have become an obsession, was to educate his eldest son to a professional level.
For this there were multiple reasons, and the journey of father and son informs much of Doctor Mirani’s memoir, but in essence K. Mirani wanted his family to escape the routine of poverty that he had become mired, and for his children to experience something better.
It would be hard to overstate the difficulties that this placed, not only on young Haresh himself, but also on the family, struggling under very difficult circumstances to maintain itself. However, the sacrifice was rewarded when in 1979 Haresh emerged from Bombay University as a qualified medical doctor, sadly, just a year after the death of his father.
Thereafter he married, and set off for the United States. But the difficulties did not end. Three years of exhaustive qualification to practice in the United States followed, before, in 1984, Doctor Mirani was at last able to get to work. The twelve years that followed saw a man acculturated by discipline and hard work, exhaustive educated and steeled by considerable difficulty, surging forward to ultimately own the largest and most lucrative medical practice in the Greater Knoxville Area, and an enviable investment portfolio that completed this radical transition from rags to riches.
However, Doctor Mirani’s driven, and at times obsessional quest for wealth and substance ended in April 1996 when he was involved in a catastrophic motor vehicle accident that shattered his left ankle and effectively ended his career.
But by then Doctor Mirani had acquired a great deal of material wealth, but the subsequent journey through injury, denial, depression, and anger, and then eventually acceptance, all of which caused him to realize that the wealth that he had accumulated was really of very little long term value. As a Hindu, Doctor Mirani believes implicitly in the cycles of life, in reincarnation and in karma. From the moment that he began to recognize that a positive frame of mind facilitated an immediate improvement in his physical healing, Doctor Mirani embarked on a long spiritual quest that reached its zenith at the summit of Kilimanjaro, and which thereafter has manifest itself in the formation of the Mirani Trust, and a determination to return the great largess that he has received throughout his life.