Monday, April 19, 2010

Postmortem: Incredible Case the media never covered

Postmortem: Incredible Case the media never covered
Saeed Naqvi
Dated: 17.04.2010

“…… Since I cannot prove a lover,
To entertain these fair well-spoken days
I am determined to prove a villain.
Plots have I laid, inductions dangerous.
As I am subtle, false and treacherous.”
Richard III
William Shakespeare

The frightful figure that followed Pakistan cricketer Shoaib Malik for eight long years and nearly wrecked his marriage with tennis star Sania Mirza, is neither fable nor fiction but something in between. A fraud! Yes, that is the truth about Ayesha Siddiqui. Interchangeably, “Maha Aapa” and Ayesha. Jekyll and Hyde.

The story has been put together after speaking to scores of people who know the Siddiqui family in Jeddah and Hyderabad.

The story begins in Jeddah, an hour’s drive from the holy city of Mecca.

Mohammad Ahmad Siddiqui from Hyderabad found a job with Saudi Arabian Airlines, and worked his way up to become Secretary to the Airlines Managing Director. With his wife, Fareesa, Siddiqui moved to Saudi City, the airline’s Housing complex.

Saudi sources confirm that in 1972, a daughter was born to the couple. They named her Naghma but her pet name is Raabiya. Next year, on October 6, 1973, the second daughter, Maha was born and given Ayesha as her pet name. This Ayesha is now 37 years of age, pertinent to this narrative. The deftness with which she glides from Maha to Ayesha and back to Maha is germane to the story.

The two sisters join the Indian Embassy School. Maha (pet name Ayesha, remember) applied for a teaching job in a Jeddah school. She said she had passed her “O” levels from the British School.

Within months she reveals herself to be a talented teacher and a smart liar. She had never passed her “O” levels from the British school – indeed, she had never been to the British school. Records at the Indian embassy school reveal that Maha had “not cleared class VIII eight.” But her employers at the new Hala school found her “an outstanding teacher.”

At this stage Maha’s weight was 160 kgs two and a half time more than Shoaib’s. As a reaction to Maha’s extraordinary bulk, Naghma kept her weight down to a point that she became Anorexic.

In 1997, Naghma married Imtiaz Ahmad Qadri. Sibling rivalries, at times violent, caused Ayesha to plot a “romance” and a “marriage”, her 160 kg weight notwithstanding.

In a Chekhov story a girl writes letters to herself which are leaked deliberately to fake social and amorous acceptability. Family friend in Jeddah say it was something on these lines that Maha’s mind was working.

In 2000, an opportunity was contrived when the Pakistan cricket team visited Sharjah. Maha Aapa turned up at the hotel and sat in the lobby café with her two Hyderabad cousins, Mona and Reema. By a happy chance Shoaib, staying in the same hotel, left his room keys in the lobby.

Here was an opportunity to call him up (the floor manager had already opened his room) that his room keys were with her. In a Jekyll and Hyde act, Maha Aapa was now on the phone as the “sexy” Ayesha. Offer to return the keys transformed itself into a conversation, exchange of phone numbers, more conversations – sexier by the minute. Titillation became love which reached orgasmic zones with the arrival of photographs supposed to be those of “Ayesha”, who as we know is the same person as “Maha Aapa”. The pix, therefore, are of some fictitious figure.

A friend of Maha’s in Jeddah says:
“She has a genius for changing her voice. She can speak like a man, a woman, a child, a courtesan, anything.” This talent of hers is commonly known in her circles in Jeddah and Hyderabad.

The disembodied sexy voice says she will “meet him” only after they have married. This is how the incredible marriage was “solemnized” in 2002. The so called “Nikahnama” or marriage certificate the media was flourishing pertains to this ridiculous non-event.

On that Nikahnama – defunct since it was never registered -, did the media recognized the name of the Qazi in Hyderabad. Has anyone spoken to him?

Also, has anyone seen “Ayesha’s” date of birth? Her real date of birth, October 1973, makes her, ten years older than Pakistan’s former cricket captain.

On March 29, 2005, the Pakistan team was to play a match in Hyderabad. Shoaib, by now a bit of a laughing stock among his team mates, extracted from his “telephonic wife” a promise that she will attend a reception his team would organize for the couple in a Hyderabad hotel.

At the reception, some of Ayesha’s cousins, friends and “Maha Aapa” materialized. “Maha Aapa” knew the trick choreography but others in the entourage were obviously impressed with Shoaib Malik’s anxious gaze on the door waiting for his unseen bride, Ayesha. Just then the phone rings. Ayesha says she will “try” to come even though she has fever because of a “severe attack of mumps”.

The team gulps! They have to play a match the next day. Please call off the reception they said in unison. “Mumps is the world’s most infectious disease”. Maha Aapa also agreed. The story of the unseen bride takes another extension.

Later, Shoaib Malik, Inzamam-ul-Haq and Yunus Khan, among others, turned up in Jeddah where they were to play a match on July 22, 2005.

The players suggested, and Shoaib’s “wife” agreed, (telephonically, of course), that a restaurant on the sea front would be an ideal rendezvous.

The team arrives on July 22 but on July 18, the bride buys two tickets on Saudi Airlines and flees.

Why two tickets? Because she could never fit into a single seat of an economy class. Even a club class seat was an uncomfortable fit.

It was at this stage that Shoaib, looking silly in front of his team, decided “there had been no marriage” with a woman so elusive, a sort of variation on Macbeth’s dagger, “palpable to sound” but impalpable to touch or sight.

Meanwhile, the parallel drama of her Anorexic sister proceeded on a different note of high drama. First, her husband, Imtiaz, after three years in “the unpleasant family”, quietly left for Bangalore. Second husband Dr. Mohammad Abdul Haseeb was hospitalized with acute schizophrenia. Now she is settled in Hyderabad with her third husband, Ali, evidently ten years her junior.

Records show that Indian former captain and Congress MP, Mohammad Azharuddin had a rub with the Siddiqui family. They were once close friends.

Azharuddin’s first wife’s brother, Nausheed, reported to the police that the Siddiqui family was harassing him with crank calls. The police came into the picture.

Hyderabad media has to investigate whether the two sisters and mother were ever in police lock up? Sources say they were, but the fact needs to be confirmed.

Also, why was Shoaib’s passport taken from him? To harass him? Since the media gave the story an Indo-Pak twist, the Siddiqui’s were able to mobilize the police. Some money changed hands? How much? A hotelier arranged for the cash – in crores. What is the hotelier’s name?

Above all, why did Shoaib stage the marriage drama in the city where he had his fingers burnt so severely. Also, is Sania comfortable marrying such an obvious simpleton?

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