Photo by BL Soni
Photo by BL Soni

Mumbai: Hamid Ansari finally came home, to his family’s Versova abode, after having spent nearly six years in Pakistani jail, on Thursday. And the one person whose incessant efforts made it possible is his mother, Fauzia, who quit her job and devoted all her efforts towards fulfilling her only goal — to bring her son back home.

Fauziya, was vice principal in a private school, until 2012. That was the year her younger son, Hamid, left India, to rescue the woman he loved, in Pakistan. He went from Afghanistan to Pakistan, where he was arrested for entering that country illegally without a visa. When Fauziya heard the news, she realised her life would now be a struggle to save her son.

The first sacrifice Fauziya made was to step down from her post as vice principal and took up a job as a teacher, so that she could devote more time to her efforts to bring her son back home. And she left no stone unturned. She tapped into all available resources — online, offline, social media, the government, social organisations working for peace, politicians, citizens and media — just about any one who would listen to her plea and help get her son out of Pakistani jail.

“It’s all because of you. It’s all because of humanity and the innumerable people who helped me and that I am able to face the world. I am afraid I may omit some name while uttering thanks, which is why I am refraining from naming any one specifically,” said Fauziya.

The one promise Fauziya had made to the universe was, once she would succeed in bringing back her son, she would set off on a thanksgiving pilgrimage to Umrah, “to thank Allah for fulfilling my wish. I will go to Mecca, Hijaz, Saudi Arabia, with my entire family and pray.”

Not just the Ansaris, their neighbours too are overjoyed at Hamid’s return. A humble Fauziya gives credit to them for being with her during grief and joy. “The main door of our apartment has this ‘welcome’ sign put up by our neighbours. We were busy and skeptical about Hamid’s release. Only when we saw him here, on our Indian soil, did we believe he was safely amidst us. This sign was put up by our neighbours during that time.”

For the Ansaris and their neighbours, Eid has come after six long years. “We are cherishing this moment. In the years without him, we did not celebrate Eid, or any birthday or anniversary in our house. Today, we are celebrating everything, thanking Allah for fulfilling our prayers,” said Fauziya. All that she wants now is to put this entire episode behind them and help Hamid make a fresh start.

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