While most people in their 90s may feel lucky just to be healthy and alive, Ali Kak is not only happy and energetic but he is actually still engaged in hard labor.
“There is a lot of fun in the work I do, although it is hard, but it is exciting too, because working too hard when you have lived almost 90 years of your life is an exciting experience in itself” says, Ali Kak.
Ali Kak hates to be dependent as he doesn’t have his own children to rely on, he has never married and lives with his brother’s kin.
“People who put me on job are very respectful, because I am much older and I dont charge too much.” Says, Ali Kak while talking to special correspondent The Kashmir Radar, Umran Hussain.
“I work and sleep – there’s not a lot else you can do on riding a cart and carrying loads on it. I feel like I am working in a family atmosphere because people respect me, admire me. If you didn’t get on with people, it would be a nightmare.”
“I work very long hours, often 10 hours a day. I can get called out at anytime when I am at home. It’s stressful and tiring, but there’s something challenging about it”.
Ali Kak has been riding the cart to ferry the items that mostly shopkeepers in the town are suppossed to get to their destinations. He is in the business since 30 long years and counting.
Nick named as “Ali Kak”, Ali Mohammad Bhat is a resident of Washibugh Pulwama, a notified area of South Kashmir’s Pulwama district.
Earning aroung 200 – 300 Rupees a day, Ali Kak supports the family of his brother as he doesn’t have his own family. In addition to shouldering the school expenses of his brothers’ daughter’s Ali Kak could pile up some money to pay for the Holy Pilgrimmage to Saudi Arabia.
“Performing Holy pilgrimmage out of the money you have earned by sweating out by doing hard labor is a pilgrimmage in real essense” says, Ali Kak.
After performing the Holy Pilgrimmage to Mecca, Ali Kak says that he felt elated and much more energetic than earlier.
“Our younger generation needs to learn a lesson from him, as even in his 90’s he still doesn’t give up” says Muhammad Iqbal, a shopkeeper who always utilizes Ali Kak’s services to fetch items from his godown to his shop. (The Kashmir Radar Exclusive Interview).