Helpless and Left alone

She doesn’t even have sufficient money to pay for her medicine

A MOTHER’S TRAGEDY

FAHEEM UN NISA

For a woman in her mid-forties, Neelofar (name changed) has faced a lot of hardships in life. And she continues to suffer. Being the eldest of five daughters and two sons, Neelofar was her parents’ favorite child.  Daughter of a wealthy businessman in Maharaj gunj, she enjoyed a luxurious lifestyle. With the desire of seeing her happily settled, her parents married her off at the tender age of 15.
Unfortunately, Neelofar says, her husband turned out to be a drunkard who would beat her up consistently. “Many a times I thought of ending my life since I was too young to deal with such a drastic and tragic turn of events but then I realized that if Allah had ordained this for me, I must face it,” sighs Neelofar. A year and a half later, she gave birth to a daughter but that only worsened her situation. With her husband having sold all her jewellery and having lost all the money in gambling, she was left with no money, no financial support and a baby to take care of on her own. “I remember this one time when my daughter was ill and there was no milk in the house to feed her. So I fed her sugary water for the whole day but that didn’t satiate her and her condition degraded,” she recalls. “My father happened to come by that day and, on seeing our plight, he decided to take care of my daughter.”
Four years later, she gave birth to a son but even that didn’t change anything. Ultimately, Neelofar left her in-laws place with her kids and shifted to her parent’s house. Slowly, life got back on track, but little did she know that her happiness was short lived. Soon, she alleges, her brothers usurped the whole business, selling their shops, stripping the bank accounts of all the money, leaving Neelofar and her parents to clear a bank loan of Rs. 28 lakhs. “It became a daily routine for bank managers and business partners to visit our home, asking for the money we owed them,” she says. Her father could not bear this disrespect and soon passed away. Now it was just Neelofar and her old mother who had to repay a loan of Rs. 28 lakhs. Her kids had been married by then. Her brothers were absconding, while her sisters were living their happily married lives.
Desperation forced her to sell off all their property for less than half of its rightful price. “The brokers used our helplessness to their benefit and bought the property at a price that was barely enough to repay the loan,” she says. And while Neelofar was caught up in this struggle, one of her sisters suddenly asked for her share in the property. She was aware of the fact that there was nothing left to share, says Neelofar. “Yet she didn’t give in and I was compelled to take a loan of Rs. 1 lakh to give her her ‘share’,” she says.
Neelofar and her mother were left helpless and roofless, with a loan of Rs. 1 lakh and absolutely no source of income. “My son was the dearest thing to me in the whole universe. All my life I had showered him with my love and affection. And yet...”, she says as her voice breaks off and she chokes with tears. It takes a minute for her to gather her thoughts. “And yet he did not give us shelter. His wife said they couldn’t provide for themselves, what would they do with two extra people? It felt like a nightmare”, she says, sobbing.
Ultimately, one of her sisters turned up to help and bought them to her home in Khanyar, where they have been living ever since. But as it is, living in someone else’s home for too long troubles her. “Hum yahan hain, par hain nahin!,” she says. “These people don’t mention it but I know we have already become a burden. I cannot sleep at night, thinking that I cannot even afford to die since I don’t have resources to support my burial, and that my death would be another liability for my sister,” she says. 
A diabetic patient with high blood pressure and suffering from serious heart ailments, Neelofar doesn’t have enough money to even pay for her medicines. Her mother suffers from hearing loss, weak eyesight, arthritis and other old-age related maladies. No one from her family has ever come forward with any financial help. She never heard from her in-laws and a couple of years back, she got the news of her husband’s death. “Sometimes, my daughter gives me a few hundred bucks out of her own little salary. My son has never even bothered to call us,” she says as tears roll down her cheeks.
“My story has a lesson for everyone”, she tells me. “Sab waqt ka taqaza hai. Nothing in this world is reliable, not your wealth, not your family, and not even your own kids,” she laments. “I want people to know that for some people like me real life is more horrible”.
(FAHEEM UN NISA is an Izhar Wani internee in GK. Feedback at featureseditor@greaterkashmir.com)

Lastupdate on : Thu, 18 Jul 2013 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Thu, 18 Jul 2013 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Fri, 19 Jul 2013 00:00:00 IST




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