by Sheikh Hilal
SRINAGAR: Couples grow old together and so attached to each other that they ill afford to lose one of them. In certain cases, they follow each other to the grave.
This happened again: this time in Shopian where the popular medical practitioner, Akbar Doctor died after around 58 hours after his wife’s death. They both were in their nineties.
Mohammad Akbar Malik is Shopian’s belt key character, who has been treating people since 1948.
Malik is said to have started his medical practice at a time when there was a small dispensary in Shopian. He opened a small medical shop and started practice. Initially, he would move around on a horse, then the major transporting tool. Later, he purchased a cycle and would respond to the calls of help by people living within and outside Shopian.
Initially, he had a shop in Jamia Market and later he shifted to the hospital road. He has handled many generations of people in the Shopian belt. He was basically an RMP (registered medical practitioner) but extremely popular with people, probably because he would be accessible at any time.
Family sources said he was all right and healthy but would avoid treating patients after the Covid19. He was mostly home.
On Saturday, June 18, at around 5 am, his wife, Raja passed away at home. Though he could not attend his funeral, he was there to bid her eternal adieu. He ensured that the funeral shroud he had got for her during his Haj is used as her last dress.
On Monday, 5 pm, Akbar himself breathed his last. Family sources said he had his lunch and was normal and then it became his last day of life. He was not sick but had grown old and weak. He would require support for his movement.
The couple was laid to rest in the ancestral graveyard not far away from each other. Entire Shopian closed to pay their ‘doctor’ their respect. It was a huge funeral prayer in the town for many years.
Akbar Doctor is survived by his two sons, Altaf Ahmad and Zahoor Ahmad and a daughter. One of his grandchildren is a medical doctor. The entire clan is in the pharmacy sector.