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26-11

Amina Khan | Three Nagpada kids waited years for a holiday, a recent trip to Aksa beach has them overjoyed

Their father, a businessman, was visiting Taj that night to help a neighbour find a job; was found dead at the end of the NSG operation

November 25, 2018 11:14:33 am

For month after the death of her husband Feroz, Amina Khan lost all will to live, she says. It was only the thought of her three children — Irfan, Shifa and Ayan — that made her survive, one day at a time, the 29-year old Nagpada resident says.

“I was in a state of shock for months. I do not even remember the weeks after my husband’s death. It was only when I realised that my children need me to be stronger for them that I finally began to accept that I have to go on living,” says Amina.

Her husband, a businessman, had accompanied a neighbour to the Taj Hotel to meet a politician from their village in Uttar Pradesh, in the hope that he would recommend a relative for a job. At the end of the NSG operation, Amina learnt that Feroz had not survived.

Amina says her children were too young to understand what had happened. Her youngest son, Ayan, was barely a year old at the time of the incident. Now, along with Irfan, Shifa and Ayan at ages 15, 12 and 10, Amina says she wants to look ahead at their future. “I did not get much of an education. I did not belong to the city. After my husband’s death, I was struggling with everything including attending their school parent-teacher meetings and handling the expenses,” Amina says.

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Amina tries to ensure that her children do not feel the void too sharply. “They complain that we do not take holidays like their classmates. I took them to Aksa beach recently and they keep talking about that outing,” she says.

Her eldest son, Irfan, says that he realises that his mother has struggled to bring them up and therefore helps her as much as he can. “I help my younger siblings in their studies and my mother with some household chores,” he says. With an interest in automobiles, Irfan says that while he is still deciding what field to purse for higher education, automobile engineering remains his first choice.

Another means of bonding for the family is watching movies at home together. His 10-year old younger brother Ayan’s future plans are inspired by that. “I like Salman Khan. I want to grow up and have a body like him,” Ayan says. Amina smiles as she listens to them chatter. “I do not know how these nine years passed. Watching them happy makes me feel content,” she says.

~ It has been nine years since the 26-11 attacks in Mumbai shook the world. This week you can send us 'Expressions of Strength' messages in solidarity with the 26/11 survivors and victims. Mail us your tributes in the form of short clips, sketches, quotes, poems or a simple message to storiesofstrength@indianexpress.com