Dongri's Dargah building saw frenetic activity on Sunday afternoon as its 190-kg resident Nazir Ahmed (53) moved out of his second-floor flat for the first time in five years, carried down the stairs by a dozen fire brigade personnel.
Ahmed was taken to Breach Candy Hospital where he will undergo bariatric surgery for weight loss on Monday.
"I have spent five years watching television and praying in my room. I am delighted to be out," said Ahmed, who was forced to quit his job as a restaurant cashier five years ago as his excess bulk had made it impossible for him to even stand on his own feet.
He had also developed complications such as hypertension and gout, leading to severe pain in the joints. He decided to opt for the surgery after watching a television programme on obesity.
Obesity surgeon Dr Sanjay Borude requested the fire brigade to bring Ahmed out because he would not have been able to walk down the narrow, rickety staircase of the century-old, three-storey building by himself.
"The fire brigade officials were planning to break a wall and pull me out of my house using a crane but they dropped the idea after examining the building and because it was raining," said Ahmed.
The action took place around 2 pm. Fire brigade personnel asked Ahmed to lie on two bedsheets, carried him down the stairs, placed him in an ambulance and escorted him till the hospital.
During the operation, the doctors will cut off two-thirds of his stomach, thereby reducing his appetite. "Ahmed should be able to start walking within three days after the surgery and he is likely to lose 10 kilos in the first month," said Dr Borude, who has performed the surgery on a 19-year-old boy from Qatar who weighed 283 kg.
Ahmed is expected to lose around 100 kg over the coming year.
Samajwadi Party president Abu Azmi is paying for the Rs 3.5-lakh surgery.
Ahmed hopes to go to the mosque and offer a thanksgiving namaz after the surgery. He wants to start working again and support his wife and two children.
"My daughter Afifah also wants me to visit her school and meet her teachers," he said.