“Best country India... best people India.” These were the parting words of Seyed Mohsen Mirjalili, as he got off the ambulance to board his Iran Air flight from the Mumbai International Airport last afternoon. The flight will take the Iranian national back home to his country, family and friends.
“My only desire was to experience India and meet its people, who were unknown to me, but no strangers, thanks to the numerous Amitabh Bachchan, Salman Khan and Shahrukh Khan movies I have seen. My dream has been fulfilled and I am blessed,” exclaimed Seyed, struggling to rein in his emotions.
It hasn’t been an easy journey, though. Sunday MiD DAY had reported earlier how Seyed, a man in his late 30s, was picked up from a footpath in Chembur nearly three-and-a-half months ago. Found haggard, hungry and disoriented, he was sent to a rehabilitation centre for mentally ill destitutes run by Dr Bharat Vatwani (‘Iranian national rescued from Mumbai streets recounts his tale’, April 14).
Diagnosed with schizophrenia, he was nursed back to health by Dr Vatwani and his team. The staff members of Shraddha Rehabilitation Foundation, who have developed deep ties of friendship with Seyed over the past few months, accompanied him to the airport yesterday to bid him adieu.
After arriving in India in January, 2012, Seyed travelled to Goa and some other places, before things went awry. “It was during his convalescence that Seyed revealed how he had wanted to visit India from when he was a child. Communicating with drawings initially, Seyed conveyed to us details like his nationality and phone number, and his family back in the Iranian city of Yazd.
With the help of these details, the process of sending him back home could be initiated. The process was completed thanks to the efforts of the Foreigners Regional Registration Office and the Iranian Embassy,” Said Dr Vatwani.
Seyed’s father Mirjalili is sponsoring his journey back home, as he is too old to come personally and escort his son. “We have informed the family and they shall be present at the airport, when Seyed’s flight lands,” said Vatwani.
Denit Matthew, a counsellor with the rehab, said that Seyed was initially unwilling to return home to his family in a sickly condition. As his condition turned around, however, his desire to return and start life afresh grew. “On Monday, we took him shopping for new clothes and he was really thrilled. In the last four months that he spent with us, Seyed has charmed everyone with his impeccable manners and grace,” he said.
Upasana Daryanani, a volunteer at Shraddha Rehab, said, “ “He would also praise Indian culture, which attracted him to come here as a tourist. In the last year and three months, Seyed said he has experienced all that he had fantasised about India, right from his childhood. He simply loves anything Indian, be it movies, food or sweets.”