Engagement dream that shattered with the collapse of Aftab Manzil, Mahim.

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mahim--aftab-bldgAt a time when a girl should be dreaming of a happy future and looking forward to the engagement ceremony, 23-year-old Juveria Mithaiwala is trying hard to pick up the pieces of her dream that shattered with the collapse of Aftab Manzil. She was to get engaged on July 4, but her happiness was short-lived as the collapse on June 10 changed everything for her and her family.

The incident has left scars on the lives of residents that even time may not be able to heal. The Mithaiwala family who lived on the fourth floor of the building was preparing for their daughter’s wedding. The function was to be held on the terrace of the now-collapsed structure. The family had bought gold jewellery worth Rs 5 lakh and Juveria was busy buying dresses and other necessary items associated with the occasion.

Now, they have lost everything in the collapse, including important documents. “I had been buying dresses since a few months. I wanted to do everything possible to make the ceremony perfect. It was the most important occasion of my life. It feels like this incident has taken away all the happiness associated with it,” said Juveria.

Meanwhile, Naaz Mithaiwala, Juveria’s mother, is fighting a battle of her own. Though she is thankful for this new life, she cannot control her emotions at the mention of the incident. She wanted to go for Umrah, a religious trip, after her daughter’s wedding but cannot leave now as she has lost her passport, documents and valuables in the mishap.

Like for many other residents, the now-demolished building is an unbearable sight for her. Her house was the only reminder of her husband after his death. “My husband and I had bought the house 30 years ago. We had built it together. I don’t even let my children enter my room. I had preserved everything that we had bought. Though I have a life, but it’s meaningless without his memories. Now my only hope to live are my children,” said Naaz Mithaiwala.

Looking ahead Juveria’s engagement ceremony has now been cancelled and the marriage will tentatively be solemnised two months from now. However, for the family, the function has lost its essence. “No amount of money can bring back the emotions attached to it. We had sentimental values attached to the house. Even my own son can’t make the house the way it was,” said an emotional Naaz.

Those who have lost their belongings have been told to make a list of the items and submit it to the Mahim police.(MM)

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