by Yawar Hussain
SRINAGAR: The widow of the Lolab man, Javeed Ahmad Sheikh was “dumbfounded” watching her three-day-old groom being whisked away to the hospital on the day they were supposed to start a new life. Sheikh had married on Sunday and was found dead, two days later, on Wednesday.
“Sudden cries broke the afternoon silence, which had taken over the house after four days of marriage-related singing and dancing,” the bride said. “I came out of my room only to hear that he has been taken away to a hospital because of a heart attack.”
Sheikh had married Khalida Begum, 25, on Sunday. Daughter of a walnut kernel trader, Ali Mohammad Teli, four relatives accompanied Javeed to Lalpora, a distance of almost 8 km from Wavoora, to solemnise the marriage and get the bride home. Khalida’s father had raised a hefty bank loan to ensure the marriage is decent and there are no regrets later. It was simple and better, relatives of Sheikh said.
The Lolab in whose beauty Allma Iqbal has written a poem has lived up to its age-old traditions. Residents said once they get the bride home, they permit the new member to understand her new home and get to know the extended family and the new relations. Two days later, she accompanies her husband to a local shrine where they pray for long prosperous life. That day the brides make tea for the family and it marks the beginning of a new life.
It was that very day. The bride said they came back normally from the shrine on Tuesday. “I don’t know what changed everything so suddenly. He was completely fine when we were walking back from the shrine.” He was rushed to the hospital where he died the next morning.
The couple were engaged a few years back while their marriage took place last Sunday in a very austere manner owing to the Covid-19 pandemic induced lockdown.
Residents said Shiekh lost her mother in November 2020 while his father had passed away in 2019 after developing blindness a couple of years ago. He was their only child along with a daughter.
Sheikh, residents said, had struggled a lot for a respectable living. “He (Sheikh) had some land on which he had now built a shopping complex. He saw very hard times when he was young,” a relative said, adding that he is survived by an elder sister only.
“Nobody can believe that he committed suicide because he stayed strong when they had very severe financial constraints,” the relative said.
Sheikh had studied up to the 12th standard while Khalida till the 10th standard.
Sheikh’s elder sister, Shaista Bano says her brother willingly consented to the Nikah.
“The marriage took place in a very good atmosphere. The Mehendiraat was very good,” she said, asserting on every single word. On the day when they returned from the shrine her brother was looking into the pending payments for the arrangements of the marriage, she added.
Soon afterwards they discovered him lying on the floor in one of the rooms. “We took him to Sub-district hospital Sogam where they told us that he has traces of a poisonous substance.
Police said they are investigating. An official who suspected suicide on Wednesday said he is unsure. “Wait, the truth will come out,” he said confidently.
(Hilal Shah contributed to this report).