Stranded Mumbai resident Javid Sheikh and his mother at the house of Nazir Ahmad of Pampore, (KM Photo)

Srinagar:  On a cold Friday afternoon, Nazir Ahmad Sheikh was returning home after prayers when he noticed a non-local elderly woman and her son down in the dumps on the road at Pampore.  

Sensing trouble, Sheikh approached them to figure out the problem. Emotions ran high when they narrated their tale of woes. 

Coming from Mumbai, Javed Sheikh, and his mother were staying in a friend’s home when health officials turned up and took their samples for the COVID test last month.

Though they were tested negative, panic gripped the area with neighbours running helter-skelter. Both Javed Sheikh and his mother left the place immediately to avoid any untoward situation. However, they were in for a shock when transporters refused to ferry them because of the lockdown.

“I saw them in a very pensive mood. When they narrated their tale, I did not even waste a second to invite them to my home. Since then they are staying with us. I have three daughters and two sons. They are like our extended family,” said Nazir, who serves as a works supervisor in the Roads and Buildings department.

From nun chai to famous haakh, the guests are savouring everything the family cooks. Even Javed has started wearing pheran to beat the cold. “I had arrived in Kashmir on March 5. We were screened and cleared at Jawahar Tunnel. There was a panic among the neighbours. But it was Nazir Sahab who came to our rescue,” said Javed, who owns Astroturf grounds in Mumbai.

Such is the camaraderie that Nazir’s family does their laundry and even buys them medicines. “I can’t express their love and affection in words. They wash our clothes and serve us food before they eat it. My mother had run out of diabetes drugs. Nazir Sahab’s family went out of the way to get the medicines. Even they offered us to buy tickets to Mumbai,” he said.

For Nazir, it is just a service to God. “Every human being has to taste death. I am doing it for Almighty Allah. Even his father called me up. I told him that I do not require anything.  Doctors later wanted to arrange accommodation for them. But I told them that they are my guests and will stay with me,” he said.

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