When Resiya got a call from her 27-year-old Anzi last Thursday, she did not imagine that it would be the last time she spoke to her daughter. The techie from Kerala was one of the 50 people killed in the terror attack on two mosques in New Zealand’s Christchurch during Friday prayers last week, and her family back home in Kodungallur in Thrissur is left with memories of the young woman who was hungry for an education.
Anzi’s mother Resiya is lying on the bed, staring at the ceiling fan in her house. “Anzi used to call me every single day without a miss,” she tells TNM. “When her call came on Thursday as usual, she was very happy. She had told me that her course was almost over and that she will soon start searching for a job there. I was very happy to hear that. But the next day...” Resiya trails off.
Resiya lives in a rented house in Kodungallur with her son, Asif, a college student. Her husband, who used to work in Saudi Arabia, died of a cardiac arrest six years ago, while Anzi was still in college. In 2016, Anzi got married to Nazar, and in February 2018, the couple moved to New Zealand, where Nazar had a new job.
Anzi, an Agriculture Engineer, decided to study while she was in New Zealand, and had enrolled in a post graduate course. She wanted to support her mother and younger brother Asif. Her family members remember her as an enthusiastic person with a strong appetite for studies. “It was always her dream to go abroad and study. Even after her marriage she followed that passion,” says Anzi’s aunt.
Anzi studied B Tech in Agriculture at a private engineering college in Malappuram. “Since she scored good marks in her entrance exam, she got a merit seat and her education was not expensive,” says Asif.
“She had told me that her (post graduate) studies were almost over,” Asif says, “Even though the duration of the course was one year, she completed it before that. Anzi had not taken her semester leave and internship holidays since she wanted to finish the course fast and get a job.”
“She had told me that she will be coming home for vacations in December,” Resiya recalls, “She had got her mark lists and was waiting to get her certificates to start looking for jobs.”
Noushad, Anzi’s uncle, says the couple was living elsewhere in New Zealand before they shifted to Christchurch. “After moving to Christchruch, Anzi used to go to the mosque every week. She was very happy that there was a mosque nearby and could go for weekly prayers,” remembers Asif.
Resiya, Asif, and the rest of the family are now waiting to see their beloved Anzi one last time before she is laid to rest at the Cheraman Juma Masjid, one of the oldest mosques in India.
While New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern had requested the family to conduct her last rites in their country, the family wanted to bring her body back to Kerala. “We have been informed that the body will reach Kochi airport around 3 am on Monday,” Asif says.