It was a busy day for Mahjabeen Nizami, as she had a long list of delicacies to prepare before the arrival of her father-in-law Asif Ali Nizami from Pakistan. She was busy in the kitchen since early Monday morning, along with her cousins and other women of the house.
"I am preparing biryani and aloo ghost, as these are the favourite dishes of my father-in-law. Apart from these, I have also prepared qorma and kheer for the occasion," said Mahjabeen, with a smile on her face.
Work was equally distributed amongst all women of the house. Some girls were seen preparing rice and some cutting potatoes.
The male members of the family had brought all ingredients a day before.
The Nizami residence is near the baoli in Nizamuddin, after climbing 10-odd stairs. The ambience in the house grew loud as soon as Sajid gave a call at home that Abba has reached Delhi and would be home in about an hour.
As soon as the two clerics – 82-year old Asif Ali Nizami and his 66-year-old nephew Nazim Nizami – reached their house from the Airport, the family gave them a surprise welcome. The two clerics were showered with red rose petals by the family and friends who had gathered at the gate.
"It is like a festival for us as all our relatives have gathered under one roof for the welcome. We are so delighted that they have returned unhurt and safe from Pakistan," said Sajid Nizami, son of Asif Ali Nizami.
As the dasterkhwan was laid and the family of 40 men, women and children sat in a queue on both sides, Syed and Nazim were served the delicacies first, after which the family followed.
The expression on the face of one of the young ones, Kaif Nizami, was unforgettable as he sat just next to his grandfather Syed, whose face he had been seeing on TV for the past few days.
After the family finished the feast with their close relatives and well wishers, Kaif quickly slipped into the lap of his grandfather.
"The three days were like hell for us. We were glued to the TV for any news of our father-in-law and his nephew. It was scary, but
we thank the Almighty that theyare back safely," said Mahjabeen, Sajid's wife.