Last Updated on: 22nd November 2023, 05:00 pm
On a splendid summer evening, against the majestic backdrop of The House of Commons, a full-capacity gathering of 125 guests at the Palace of Westminster came together to show their support for the highly anticipated book launch of Suresh Kumar’s “Follow that Dream”. The overwhelming response to the book has led to another prestigious invitation from the Indian High Commission to launch it at the Nehru Centre in Mayfair, London on Wednesday, July 12th, 2023.
The esteemed guest of honor for both events is the renowned author Lord Jeffrey Archer, widely celebrated for his exceptional talent and numerous bestselling novels, including the iconic “Kane and Abel”.
“Follow that Dream” narrates the story of Suresh Kumar’s parents and their life in India before embarking on a journey to Great Britain, where they sought a fresh start. Suresh eloquently describes his own early life, the struggles he faced, and the challenges he overcame while growing up in a world vastly different from that of his parents.
The book launch event was graced by the presence of numerous dignitaries, friends, and supporters of the author. Notable attendees included Lord Rami Ranger, Bob Blackman MP for Harrow East, Virendra Sharma MP for Ealing Southall, Cllr Keith Prince of the London Assembly representing Redbridge and Havering, Cllr Anjana Patel, Neeraj Arora, the UK Head of Sony TV, Chief Superintendent Carl Lindley of the Metropolitan Police Service, and Dr. Honey Kalaria, the UK’s Bollywood Ambassador, among others. The gathering shared amusing anecdotes and personal stories, reflecting their own experiences and understanding of the challenges presented in the book.
Lord Archer spoke about the dedication and effort required to write a book. All those present expressed their best wishes for the author’s success and eagerly inquired about plans for future books. Suresh revealed that a sequel is already in the works, much to the delight of the audience.
Expressing his honor at conducting the book launch at The House of Commons, Lord Jeffrey Archer remarked that he has known Suresh for 23 years and always found him to be dynamic and a true friend. Their paths first crossed during Lord Archer’s campaign for London Mayor. Lord Archer also highlighted that it was the Conservative Party that provided the opportunity for the first Indian-origin Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, Rishi Sunak.
Concluding his speech, Lord Archer shared, “Writing a book is not easy, but everyone has a story within them.” Lord Rami Ranger commended Suresh’s tireless work in politics, making it more accessible to ethnic communities. Ranger acknowledged that Suresh may be outspoken at times but always has the best interests of the Indian diaspora in mind.
Bob Blackman MP emphasised the vibrant Indian community in his constituency of Harrow East and the shared journey of humble beginnings and hard work to establish a better future for their families. He appreciated Suresh’s account of his younger school days while recognising the Indian family’s commitment to providing a quality education for their children.
Dr. Honey Kalaria, the Bollywood Ambassador of the UK, shared her 30-year-long association with Suresh, having collaborated on numerous fundraising community events and high-profile concerts. She praised Suresh’s unwavering support and his dedication to raising funds for worthwhile causes, as well as providing a platform for young talents.
Cllr Keith Prince, a London Assembly Member representing Redbridge and Havering, reminisced about his and Suresh’s early days in Redbridge politics over two decades ago, where they became close friends. They jointly supported various charitable causes, striving to make Redbridge a better place for its residents.
Chief Superintendent Carl Lindley of the Metropolitan Police expressed his delight at working with Suresh during his time as a Community Police Officer in Redbridge. Their collaborative efforts on community welfare projects aimed to promote multicultural understanding.
Celebrity radio personality Bali Brahmbhatt of Lyca Gold Radio marveled at the magnificent setting of The Palace of Westminster and expressed his delight at the book launch. He stated, “Suresh Kumar truly deserves all the success, as he has demonstrated that honesty and determination can lead to success in any situation. He is a people’s person and always goes out of his way to assist others. He has truly followed his dreams and reached for the skies.”
Other special guests, supporters, and audience members included Cllr Anjana Patel of Harrow, who praised Suresh Kumar for his guidance, support, and encouragement throughout her journey. They were among the initial members of the Conservative Party’s Cultural Unit, established in 2001 by William Hague to increase participation from ethnic communities in politics.
Virendra Sharma MP for Southall Ealing, expressed his delight at being invited and shared his own experiences of coming to and settling in the UK, having known Suresh and his family for many years from Punjab, India.
Neeraj Arora, the UK Head of Sony TV, reflected on his professional journey in media and broadcasting, highlighting his ascent to the top in one of the world’s most respected and successful companies, Sony. He recalled his early days after arriving in the UK from Allahabad, India.
Navin Kundra, a singing sensation, expressed his thrill at being invited and predicted that “Follow that Dream” by Suresh Kumar would be a tremendous success, resonating with those who have traveled from India and the Indian subcontinent. He hailed it as a true success story resulting from hard work, dedication to family and friends.
Suresh Kumar, the author of “Follow that Dream,” humbly acknowledged the love, affection, and kind words of support from everyone present. He shared that he entered the business world at the age of 16, establishing Indra Travel in East London, a successful travel and aviation company catering to the Indian subcontinent. Suresh expressed his gratitude to his clients for their unwavering support over the years, naming the office in memory of his mother, Indra.
Passionately, Suresh Kumar stated, “It is an honor to have Lord Archer launch the book at the prestigious House of Commons and Nehru Centre. It was important for me that the newer generation has an accurate account of our humble beginnings from Lahore, Pakistan in 1947, to Punjab, India, and the journey to the UK in 1955. As grandparents and parents are no longer with us, memories tend to fade, and thus it was crucial to have a historical record of their journey, the trials and tribulations they faced along the way. ‘Follow that Dream’ is dedicated to all families who have undertaken a similar journey to that of my own. My story is not unique; it is a narrative shared by countless households worldwide. Yet, many have not put pen to paper and shared their experiences. We owe so much to Great Britain for providing us with opportunities to become an integral part of this country we now call home.”
Suresh Kumar expressed that he is who he is because of his parents and the debt of gratitude he owes them, a debt that can never truly be repaid. He described them as humble, sincere individuals who made numerous sacrifices for their family. Unfortunately, they never had the chance to fully enjoy a good life as they were always working to provide for their loved ones. Suresh regretfully acknowledged his inability to have provided them with a better life, one they truly deserved.
Described as a businessman, an inspiration, a community leader, a family man, and above all, a supportive individual always ready to lend a helping hand, Suresh Kumar’s book stands as a testament to his sincerity and his care for those around him. The book launch event showcased the unwavering support of the diverse communities residing in East London. To order a copy of “Follow that Dream,” visit Amazon online or www.sureshkumar.co.uk.