Kaniz went to New Zealand with her husband 17-18 years ago. Why? “Because she was so much in love with her son Farook – my brother- that she couldn’t stay without him. My brother too loved Mummy very much. He took our parents to NZ when they moved there. He was a very respected man working in the Correction Department in NZ. But my sister-in-law Sameena did not like our parents,” says Madhubala’s niece Perveez.
According to Perveez, the horror tale began largely in New Zealand and Sameena refused to mend her ways. “She never cooked food for my parents at home. My brother Farook had to get food for Mummy and Daddy from a nearby restaurant. Sameena’s daughter (Kaniz’s granddaughter) is now married in Australia but she too treated my mom badly; she was in fact there with her brother (Sameena has 2 children) when Mummy was made to leave the house and put on an aircraft.”
Continued Perveez, “I went to NZ regularly, sometimes twice a year. Mom came down twice. But she could not come since the past 5 years as my brother said that it might not be safe given her age, as oxygen levels tend to fluctuate at higher altitudes.”
Madhubala’s younger sister Madhur Bhushan tells ETimes, “I am shocked beyond words that my sister has been treated in this manner.”
Worse, Perveez tells us that her cousin who informed her was called by Sameena only 8 hours before the flight landed in Mumbai. “Sameena chose to give him the message and not us. Now, I wasn’t in Mumbai. I was in Palghar. My cousin was informed around 12 noon on January 29. I had barely 8 hours to rush and be in Mumbai in time for the flight’s 8 pm arrival.”
Perveez says that Sameena’s torture may have intensified after her brother passed away this year on January 8. “Imagine, it’s not even a month since my brother left us.”
Worst, Perveez got a call from the flight/airport authorities when the flight landed and the official in question told her that her mother has no money to pay for her RTPCR (COVID) test. “I sent the money inside and the first thing she told me after her RTPCR was done was ‘Beta, do you know that Farook mar gaya? Main usko kabar mein dal ke aayi hoon. Plus, I am very hungry. Can I get some food?’.”
Has Perveez called Sameena after this recent fracas? Replied Perveez, “Yes, I did. But does she care? If she cared, would she have put a 96-year old lady alone on a flight which started from Auckland to Singapore to Bangkok to Colombo to Mumbai? God knows how the airlines even agreed to put Mummy on board without anybody accompanying her, especially in today’s times of COVID. By the way, Sameena said ‘What money?’ when I asked her about Mummy’s funds. Sameena has kept everything that my mother had, including her jewellery.”
Added Madhur Bhushan, “My sister has also been deprived of her pension. Her cash too has been taken away.”
Couldn’t Kaniz’s son explain or oppose his wife, Sameena? “Peace and harmony stood destroyed, long ago at their home. But my brother loved Mummy beyond words; it won’t be wrong to say that he worshipped her. He even ensured after my father passed away, she was put in Day Care. Then in the evening, the NZ government had assigned a caretaker who would drop by for an hour and give her a bath. NZ is a very friendly country towards the elderly,” said Perveez.
“I have brought her home, given her food and then a bath. Thank God, Mummy is at least safe now. But is this the way to ill-treat your husband’s parents when he is around and then even when he is no more? Mind you, there was no passenger standing beside her to help her out or take any responsibility when I first saw her at Mumbai airport. Little did I know that my brother will pass away first and my mother will outlive him and her life will come to such a sorry pass,” Perveez concluded, tearfully.