Brothers Abdul Karim Sheikh (30) and Makhdum Ali (28),who lived together,married within a couple of years of each other and shared the joy of having their first children,were killed with their wives and children in the Smruti building collapse in Mumbra in the early hours of Friday.
The brothers,who lived in adjacent flats on the first floor of the building for the last ten years,had a son and a daughter each. At 2.15 am Friday,they felt the ground shake and woke up. Soon,cries started echoing from all over the building,followed by sounds of hasty steps as people rushed downstairs. The Abdul and Makhdum families followed suit but were not fast enough. The families were buried under tonnes of debris as the building imploded.
A rescue worker told me when Farida mami (Abduls wife) was found,she had an arm around their son Shakir (6) and another around their daughter Tasmia (2), said Nabilal Sheikh,Abdul and Makhdums nephew.
Makhdum,with wife Aaliya (21),daughter Husna (4) and four-month-old son Hamza was also pulled out shortly after. All eight were declared dead before admission at Thane Civil Hospital. Shahnawaz Sheikh,a relative,said Abdul worked in a footwear shop in Vikhroli while Makhdum sold fruits and vegetables. They never thought about staying separately,he said.
The brothers were deeply religious and offered namaz five times a day. They were happy over the birth of Hamza, Nabilal said.