How Kashmiris in Delhi Came Together to Trace a Missing Mother

Khatija

‘I was amazed to see the way our people were helping us away from home. Kashmiris can’t see their brethren in trouble. We share each other’s pain and that is the best thing about us.”

BY the time she decided to make it public, Nusrat Razaq had already spent “the darkest and the longest night of her life” on Delhi’s ‘cold and clueless’ streets, searching for her “birth-giver”.

After exhausting all the means to bring back her beloved lost in the capital commotion, the lawyer decided to advocate her own case.

“My mother is missing from Jamia Milia Islamia Metro Station from yesterday (Wednesday) evening,” Nusrat, practicing law in Delhi, wrote on her twitter handle.

Her mother Khadija was wearing a purple cotton suit and white print dupatta at the time of her disappearance.

As soon as the appeal went viral on social media, the daughter received nonstop calls.

The callers were mostly her own Kashmiri brethren — studying and working in different parts of Delhi.

“I received calls from hundreds of Kashmiris, especially from Jamia Milia students,” Nusrat told Kashmir Observer.

“The callers assured me that they were doing their best to locate my mother. That brethren-boost gave me a hope amid despair and made me believe that I wasn’t alone in Delhi.”

But before those solidarity calls, Nusrat had lost touch with her mother in the most shocking manner.

At around 8 pm on March 9, Khadija, a resident of Shopian, slipped out of her Batla House flat locking the main door.

“By the time I managed to break the lock, she had gone out of our reach,” Mir Safdar, Nusrat’s husband, told Kashmir Observer.

Battling Alzheimer’s since 2021, Khadija was recently shifted to Delhi by Nusrat for the treatment of the dementia-causing disease.

Apart from lodging a missing report in the Zakir Nagar Police Station, Nusrat went to trace her mother in all the streets and stores, where she thought Khadija could be, but she was nowhere to be found.

“We didn’t return to our flat that night,” she recounted the harrowing time of her life.

“We were devastated. Our world had turned upside down — sending all of us in different directions on Delhi’s dark roads for the sake of our mother.”

But just before she went missing, Khadija had grown uneasy with the Delhi’s “dingy dwellings”.

“We’ve an open lawn in Kashmir where our mother used to have a daily walk,” the daughter said. “But in this congested place, she was apparently growing uncomfortable—but not to an extent that it would drive her out.”

While thinking about this, Nusrat finally received the call she was eagerly waiting for. The call came 24 hours after her appeal.

And the caller was a Kashmiri in Delhi.

The man had seen the pictures of the missing mother on social media. And after spotting her on a street, he quickly informed Nusrat that Khadija was being taken to Lajpat Nagar Police Station.

“We immediately went to the police station where we were told that our mother had been taken to AIIMS for medical check-up,” Nusrat said.

The family then rushed to the hospital, where they finally saw their mother.

“We hugged her and cried for hours,” the daughter recalled. “My brother kissed her feet and I hugged her like I had met her after decades.”

Khadija couldn’t tell where she was for 24 hours. Her children couldn’t insist as they were happy enough to see her again.

After completing all the legal formalities, Delhi Police handed over the mother to her family members who brought her home.

“But I’ve no words to thank the people of Kashmir staying in New Delhi who made it possible and supported us in the time of grief,” Nusrat said.

“I was amazed to see the way our people were helping us away from home. Kashmiris can’t see their brethren in trouble. We share each other’s pain and that is the best thing about us Kashmiris.”

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Auqib Javeed

Auqib Javeed is special correspondent with Kashmir Observer and tweets @AuqibJaveed

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