As the Sena patriarch Bal Thackeray was taken to his final resting place, two Muslims, who were on the truck, led the cortege.
While everyone saw Dr Jalil Parkar, the saffron tiger’s general physician for several years occupy an important place at the funeral held on Sunday, the other stayed out of the limelight.
Shahid Ali was at the wheel of the trailer that carried Thackeray along with his family and loved ones on the 6km long funeral procession from Matoshree in Bandra to Shivaji Park.
Ali, a native of Faizabad, Uttar Pradesh, came to Mumbai in 1992 and has been a Bandra resident since then. He told HT that he was proud to be assigned this challenge. “This was biggest moment of my life, I had never thought of coming even nearby to such a big personality. I am glad that even if at last moment, I have made some contribution to his life,” he said.
For Ali, who has been driving since 1998, this was one of the most challenging journeys, considering the massive traffic on the roads, “Driving trailer amidst lakhs of people was huge challenge. Even my bosses were worried, but I assured them of driving carefully,” added Sahid, an employee of Bal Road Lines.
Ali claims to be a fan of the Thackeray family and wishes to meet Uddhav again.