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Mother waits to hear ‘Peekaboo’ even 100 days after Ada’s tragic death

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Budgam: It has been 100 days since Ada Mir was mauled to death by a leopard but it is an endless agony for the Mir family with her mother looking at the door intently in the belief her daughter will reappear and surprise her with ‘peekaboo’, a game of hide-n-seek played by kids.

Still receiving mourners, Nausheen, who breaks into tears at the mention of Ada’s name, recalls the last few moments before her five-year-old daughter met an untimely demise on June 03.

“She was playing the game of Peekaboo with me and I loved to deliberately make her win because her smile was priceless. She told me she would call her grandfather for cake-cutting of her brother and resume her game,” Nausheen says, tears rolling down her eyes.

Her husband Muddasir fails to comfort her. “From that day, she keeps on looking at the door thinking Ada will reenter and surprise her.”

The five-year-old Ada was mauled by a leopard at their residence located at the outskirts of the Srinagar city.

The room, where Ada used to complete her homework and other activities, remains almost untouched with her scribbling and raw drawings awaiting her proper finish.

Muddasir touches these drawings with his hands. “I can still feel her,” he utters in a voice choked with emotions. “I have no plans to change it ever so that she remains alive within the family.”

Mir’s House is located in Ompura, outside the city of Budgam in the central Kashmir district.

Ada’s dolls, her schoolbags, her toys and her school uniform are still there in the room. “We don’t want to believe she is not with us anymore,” says Muddasir, breaking into sobs as he kneels down and holds the school bag close to his chest.

Adjacent to the room, in the lobby, are two flower pots in which both Ada and her brother, Ali, had put plants. “The plant put by Ada is growing while the other one my son planted could not survive. Irony, the hands that put the plant in the pot are no more with us,” he said.

Ada’s aunty Ambreen Khan said her daughter Saher Khan was shooting a video outside and as she turned to capture Ada, she had disappeared.

Saher could not say a single word about the incident. “She is unable to overcome the shock,” her mother Ambreen says.

Muddasir also lamented the wildlife and the forest department made no efforts. “They claimed to have killed a leopard that is supposed to have killed my daughter.”

“They are bluffing. No forensics was collected then I wonder how they reached the conclusion that it was the same leopard. For them, it was one of the man-animal conflicts but for us she was our world,” Muddasir said.

The Wildlife department had claimed a few days after her death that they had captured the leopard that had mauled the five-year-old.

“We have signs of the animal roaming around but every plea of ours to (keep it at bay) falls on deaf ears,” Muddasir said.

Ada’s tragic death has left a deep impact on her brother, 7-year-old Ali, whom the family now does not allow to go out alone. “He often goes to Ada’s plant and shares all his grievances as well as his happiness,” says Muddasir as he ruffles Ali’s hair.

The Ompura area has a 20-acre nursery adjacent to it, which is maintained by the Social Forestry Department.

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