Abis Rizvi was kind, humble, cheerful, say mourners

Mumbai, 04/01/2016 : Relative gathered for the funeral Abis Rizvi at a graveyard on Wednesday. Abis was killed in a terror attack at Istambul on night of 31st December. Photo: Imtiyaz Shaikh   | Photo Credit: Imtiyaz Shaikh

Mumbai: As prominent city-based builder and educationist Abis Rizvi was laid to rest on Wednesday, friends and family members remembered a kind, humble man who was enthusiastic about work and life. Rizvi was killed in an attack by terror outfit Islamic State while partying at an Istanbul nightclub on New Year’s Eve. He was one of the two Indian casualties among 39.

A large number of well-wishers had gathered at the Rehmatabad cemetery in Mazgaon to bid farewell to Rizvi, 49, who had helmed construction firm Rizvi Builders and dabbled in film production as well. A close family member said it was an “irreparable loss”. “He was an extremely humble man. We still cannot believe that we have lost him,” he said. Actors Puneet Issar, Atul Agnihotri, Javed Jafri and politicians including Abu Azmi and Baba Siddiqui were among the attendees.

For retired Assistant Commissioner of Police Iqbal Shaikh, Rizvi’s simplicity stood out. “He was always very cooperative if you sought his suggestions or help. My children studied at Rizvi School and I was also closely associated with the Mumbai Cricket Association, due to which I often interacted with Mr Rizvi as he was on the school’s board. He encouraged participation in sports, and the school had produced several good sportspersons,” Mr. Shaikh, a resident of Bandra and a close friend, said.

His business associates and friends recalled how Rizvi trusted them completely. Rakesh Sachdev, who handles electronic security systems and home automations for all projects by Rizvi Builders, said, “There was no ego despite being so well-placed and well-to-do. I still remember the childlike amusement on his face when I had did the home automation for his house. When I gave him the tablet to activate the lights and control the brightness, he was wide-eyed and smiling.” He added that Rizvi had not interfered while he worked. “He simply told me to do it like it was for my own house.”

Those gathered struggled to come to terms with the mindless act of terror that claimed his life. “For the first time, I felt so close to terror. The terror strike so far away claimed two Indian lives, and I was close to one of them. It just tells us how vulnerable we all are,” Mr. Sachdeva said.

“What did anyone gain out of this? This wound cannot be healed, ever,” said Rizvi’s friend Talha Patel, a businessman from Jogeshwari. He remembered how Rizvi cared for workers who were accidentally injured on his construction sites. “He would check on them regularly and offer special diet tips so the wound could heal quicker.”

Film-maker Amole Gupte said, “He had once walked into my office with a film concept. It never worked out. Much later, one of my actors in the film Hawa Hawai was thrown out of the school. The first call I happened to make was to Rizvi, and in no time he had found a place at another school,” he said, adding the act of terror was frightening. “This is no way to leave the world.”

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Printable version | Dec 3, 2020 8:38:50 AM |

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