Srinagar, Nov 9: House No.62 in downtown Habba Kadal wears a deserted look after the death of Mughli after an endless wait for her only son, Nazir Ahmad Teli, who has been missing for the past 19 years. Aged around 80 and alone, she had nobody to fall back upon.
"She never celebrated any festival. We used to invite her on Eid but she always refused saying she will celebrate only when her son is back," says Arifa, her neighbour.
Mughli left no stone unturned to trace her son. She visited every shrine to pray for her son whose pension was her only source of income. She even went for Hajj a few years ago for her son's sake. She used to say that everything she does is for her son" said Jalal- ud-din, another neighbour.
"Mughli was perhaps the noblest lady I have ever met. She was a sociable person even before her son went missing, but after that tragic incident, she confined herself to the four walls of her house. She rarely met anyone and used to stay put most of the time," says Iqra, another neighbour. "But she was like a mother figure for all of us, a very loving lady" she adds.
Mughli's life had been a long painful struggle. She was divorced just three months after her marriage and gave birth to her son without any support. She didn't marry again and brought up her son who was her only hope and whom she loved ardently. However, after his disappearance, Mughli was left all alone to struggle.
Nazir disappeared on 1st September, 1990. He was a school teacher and was 40 years old when he disappeared. On that fateful day, he left for his school in the morning never to return. Nazir had been born after the separation of his parents. "Like his mother, he was a noble person who never talked to anyone with a raised voice. He loved his mother very much and cared a lot for her," says Abdul Rashid, a neighbour.
"Mughli searched for Nazir in every jail in Srinagar; met politicians and police officials in the hope of finding him," says her nephew, Abdur Rasheed. With the financial help from the Association of Parents of Disappeared Persons, she had also filed a petition in the court.
"We did what we could for her but couldn't fulfil her only wish of finding her missing son. She waited for her son till her last breath," says her nephew, at whose Chanapora home she breathed her last.
Mughli was a source of inspiration for hundreds of mothers whose sons have disappeared. She was one of the earliest members of the APDP. "She was like a mother who always supported me in our fight to know the whereabouts of our disappeared children. She had extracted a promise from me that I will keep the search for her son on, even after her death," says the APDP president, Parveena Ahangar.
Mughli lived her whole life alone in her Babapura, Habba Kadal, home, hoping that her son will come back home some day, as he used to. "She cried a lot for her son, when we met her last time on 10th July for our sit-in. May be she knew that she will not be able to meet her son before her death, she extracted a promise from me that I will keep the search for her son on even after her death," says Parveena Ahangar. "Her presence gave us strength, she was always hopeful of meeting her son even after 19 years without any information about her son. Her condition was not stable due to kidney problem but the actual cause for the deterioration of her health was her pent-up pain" adds Parveena Ahangar.
Mughli's body has been laid to rest in her ancestral graveyard at downtown Narwara. But her pain doesn't end with her death; it has gripped hundreds of other fellow mothers, who are carrying on the struggle to trace out the missing ones, including Mughli's son, Nazir.