Sixty-two-year-old A.K. Mohammad Basheer could hardly believe his ears when he received a call on 9 August informing him that he had won a lottery worth $1 million. The Malayali fleet administrator with Al Tayer Motors in Dubai had been marvelling at his luck, having escaped unhurt when the Emirates flight from Thiruvananthapuram crash-landed in Dubai on 3 August. Could he get any luckier, that too within a week of his narrow escape? Turns out, he could. A lottery ticket Khadar had purchased on Eid (6 July) from Dubai Duty Free Millennium Millionaire at Concourse A at Dubai International Airport had won one million US dollars in the draw. He had bought the ticket from the airport while on his way to India for a holiday.
"I have been working in Dubai for 37 years, and I have always felt like this is my country. I live a simple life, and now that it's my time to retire, I feel like God gave me a second life when I survived the plane crash, and blessed me with this money to follow all this up by doing good things," Basheer told Gulf News.
Speaking to HuffPost India from his work place, Basheer said he was not the kind of person to get overjoyed. "Nothing changes for me. There is no greater pleasure in life than working hard and leading a good life. I will continue to do that."
Basheer has been working in Dubai for 37 years and is due to retire in December. He has been with Al Tayer Motors for 21 years. "If they ask me to stay in December, I will continue, else I will go back home" Basheer said. Home is in the Thiruvananthapuram district of Kerala.
Basheer said he has no plans to make material acquisitions, like cars or a bigger home, with the lottery money. "If I can help 10 families find jobs, which will then allow them to work hard and make their own future better, I will be most happy."
Basheer has a married daughter and a 21-year-old son, who suffers from partial paralysis of the body following a fall when he was just 13 days old.
Basheer said he considered the narrow escape from the Emirates crash "a miracle".
He told The Newsminute: "I have no great plans about how to spend the money. But I know what dignity of labour is all about, so once I retire from Dubai, I would like to go back to Kerala and start a small agricultural unit. I have seen what my son went through and would like to help children with medical issues."
Basheer's caution with the money can perhaps be traced to the hardships he has had to face in his life. He told both the newspapers how he had to spend a fortune on medical treatment for his son, who was paralysed when he was just 13-days-old. He had accumulated a huge debt, which he eventually paid off. Khadar's son is 21-years-old now.