After spending most of the premiere time of his life outside India, Mohammad Maqbool, popularly known as Mac, decided in 2013 to revive his resort located on an Island inside Nigeen Lake. The resort, popularly known as Mac’s Island, was established by his grandfather after World War 2.
Mac says that on his return to India in 2013, his mother insisted him to stay back in Kashmir and call off his all overseas business. He couldn’t say no to his mother and he stayed.
Hailing from the Nigeen area in Srinagar, 53-year-old Mac said that he left the valley in the early nineties and settled in Nepal and visited different countries in connection with his business.
After his return from abroad, he had to start from scratch, and in 2014 he decided to revive his resort which was very popular in the valley before 90s as he used to host visitors from across the whole world.
“The resort was in the shabby condition as it was not functional for a long time. With organic, aquatic life and environment around I started to shape up my resort for visitors”, he said .
However, any necessary repairs or any major maintenance has been a challenge for Mac as Nigeen Lake is under the strict observation of the Lakes conservation and Management Authority (LCMA) and does not allow construction under it’s green belt.
Mac said that in the year 2014 he restarted his resort, however, he could not tap into the previous client but has developed a new clientele over the years.
“This resort turned out to be great learning for me as foreigners who used to stay here used to go for trekking and I also started trekking with them and traveled to different parts of my country. Till 1988, so many people came here among which were some Bollywood legends Shashi Kapoor, Raj Kumar, Rajender Kumar, Sunil Dutt, and many more”, he added.
On the resort island, Mac has fostered migratory Siberian birds and various other species of birds which include Eagles, parrots, Kingfishers, and other aquatic birds.
“I have also grown bushes on the backside of my resort where these migratory and other birds stay throughout the year and these bushes serve as habitat for breeding and feeding place to them. They are so close to my heart that my day doesn’t start unless I feed them”, said Mac.
He said that his resort is a serene place to seek peace which is surrounded by mountains, water, and the sound of birds all around.
“I don’t let out the property to multiple people in one instance but to a single individual as I don’t want anyone’s privacy to hit”, he says.
Mac, however, adds that the condition of the lake is giving him pain and he is persistently trying to clean off the lake from garbage and litter thrown by people and is making an effort to keep the environment clean around the Lake.