The grandson of a woman believed to have been the UK's oldest person has written a self-help book inspired by her 'three centuries of wisdom'.

Jim Rai was raised from a young age by his beloved late grandmother Sant Kaur Bajwa, who died in her sleep last July at her home in Old Cote Drive, Heston.

She was 115 years old, according to her Indian passport, making her the UK's oldest person at the time and the second oldest in the world.

Now Mr Rai, a 47-year-old former lawyer, who grew up in Southall and lives in Richmond, has penned a book he hopes will encourage readers to follow her 'truly amazing' example and live every day to the full.

... and then you're dead! contains 47 life lessons - one for each year he's lived - passed down by his grandmother and father, Ajit Singh Rai, who is due to turn 90 in April.

"A lot of my grandmother's priceless wisdom, gained over three centuries, is contained in this book," said the father-of-four.

"What I've learned from her has been more through her actions than her words. It's one thing saying something and quite another putting it into action."

Jim Rai, who has penned a self-help book inspired by the wisdom of his late grandmother Sant Kaur Bajwa, who, at 115 years old, was the world's second oldest person when she died in July last year.
Jim Rai, who has penned a self-help book inspired by the wisdom of his late grandmother Sant Kaur Bajwa, who, at 115 years old, was the world's second oldest person when she died in July last year.
 

Mr Rai, who grew up in Beaconsfield Road, Southall, and whose mother died when he was just five, wrote the book in a single day at a cafe in Limassol, Cyprus, where he now spends much of the year.

He said he was feeling a bit low that morning in January last year, partly because his grandmother was very ill, and started tapping out a few reflections about life. Eight hours and 19,000 words later he was still sat there typing.

The book is packed with small, practical changes he says can transform your outlook but there are two bits of advice in particular he says sum up his grandmother's attitude to life.

One is the '70 per cent rule' - to make sure at least 70 per cent of your day is filled with happiness and 'positive energy', even if the remaining 30 is 'neutral'.

The other is to look forward to at least one thing each day, however small, rather than looking too far ahead and letting your life pass you by.

The book is dedicated to his late grandmother and mother, who he describes in the dedication as 'two truly amazing women'. It even comes with a companion volume, ...And Then You're Alive!, in which readers can jot down their own thoughts and feelings.

It's not just the women in Mr Rai's life he credits with helping make him the man he is today. He describes his father, a former president of the Indian Workers' Association, who campaigned against virginity tests being carried out on Indian immigrants to Britain in the 1970s, as an 'amazing individual'.

* ...and then you're dead! is available to order at www.ATYDbook.com, priced £9.97.