The road leading to actor Jiah Khan’s Sagar Sangeet building in Juhu was like any other on Thursday evening. The two police vans, 25 odd police personnel, the crowd of media persons and the fleet of their outdoor broadcasting vans were missing.
Unlike on Tuesday and Wednesday when several security guards and police personnel manned the huge wooden gate to her building, only one watchman stood guard now, the gate flung wide open. The chaos was now replaced with a chilling quiet.
“Things have returned to normal only on Thursday,” the guard said.
The normalcy, however, did not stretch to Jiah’s first floor apartment. The quiet was replicated in her 2-BHK home, only interrupted by the devout murmurs of a maulavi who chanted prayers for the peace of Jiah’s soul.
In the brightly-lit living room of the apartment, a group of 10 to 11 young men, all dressed in white with Islamic skull caps, sat kneeling down in prayer. They all chanted as the maulavi led the prayer.
Jiah’s garlanded photo stood on a table and in a corner, sat her mother, Rabea Khan with her two other daughters – Kavita and Karisma. Female relatives surrounded the three as they closed their eyes and murmured prayers in unison.
The maulavi asked for happiness for Jiah’s soul and Kavita burst into a bout of tears. Karisma, the youngest of the three sisters, embraced the elder one as Rabea quietly ran her hand on her head.
“Rabea is a little better today. She was in a much worse state until yesterday,” said actor Anju Mahendru who was also present at Jiah’s residence on Thursday evening.
As the prayer culminated and all those gathered stood up, Kavita remained seated, still being comforted by her younger sibling. Rabea, meanwhile, put up a brave front.
“Main sadme mein hoon (I am in a state of shock.) Pray for my daughter please. I am trying very hard to build courage,” she managed to speak.
“I have two other daughters to take care of,” she said, more to herself this time as she walked away, coordinating the preparations for Jiah’s condolence meet in the coming days.