Senior Editor
09.08.09 13 Comments

(I just thought Professor Fuzzkins and the duckling duo were less depressing than the original picture)

The father of Slumdog Millionaire star Azharrudin Mohammed (who played Salim), the same one who slapped his son around for being impolite to photographers, has died in Mumbai.  He got the finest care possible, but succumbed to a rare, incurable diseas– wait, hold on, I’m getting some new info… Sorry, check that, he died of tuberculosis.  Which is still India’s number three killer, behind the bubonic plague and Ox palsy.

Mohammed Ismail’s premature death will inevitably fuel the controversy surrounding the fate of the slum children who appeared in the movie. He died today in the new flat bought for the family by the trust set up by director Danny Boyle.
Ismail had been ill for some time and had twice been admitted to a tuberculosis hospital in Mumbai after being turned away by another hospital in the city, which refused to admit him in case he infected other patients.

Well sure.  I asked my friend who’s a doctor what the best way to cure someone with tuberculosis is, and he said, first you cover them with a plastic tarp, then you kick them into a vat of acid, and then you throw away anything they might have touched.  Then you rub two sticks together and make a fire, because witches hate fire.

His wife said he had been unhappy with the treatment he received in the hospital and had discharged himself.
Tuberculosis is now rare in the UK but remains a major killer in India, where about 1,000 people die of the disease every day. Most of the £1,725 Azhar earned for appearing in the movie was spent on treating his father’s illness.
Ismail refused to abandon his dependence on alcohol – something he shared with a large number of men in the slum – despite the media spotlight on his life. But he was clearly very proud of his son’s success. “The fact that a poor man’s child has made such a name for himself, that’s what makes me most happy,” he told journalists. [Guardian]

So I guess this does have a happy ending after all.  Because when you’re a parent, it’s your children’s health that matters, not your own. That’s why I don’t have kids.

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