Cleared of terrorism charges after nine years and a month after being released from prison, Abdul Wahid Shaikh has returned to teach children at the Abdus Sattar Shoaib School located on Grant Road in Mumbai.
Last month, a court had convicted 12 people for their involvement in the 2006 Mumbai Train blast, which killed 189. Abdul, a schoolteacher in south Mumbai, was pronounced "not guilty".
The 37-year-old science teacher said he did not face any prejudice or stigma after being branded a terrorist. "The students are thrilled to see their teacher's picture published in the English and Urdu newspapers. I haven't received a negative reaction from any parent either," Abdul told the BBC.
The school authorities said they sought legal opinion before hiring him again. "The state government has to sign the papers, which are related to Abdul'a salary because we get our funds to run the school from them," Zahir Qazi, president of the trust, which runs the school told BBC.
A lot of things have changed for Abdul since his arrest in 2006. The touch screens are new across Mumbai. Apart from that, the financial capital now has swanky flyovers and a mono rail system.
"When I first went back to teach in the school, most of the children were sleeping in class," Abdul said. "The children told me they played mobile and computer games till 1a.m. How will they keep their eyes open if they sleep only for a few hours," he said.
His own children were toddlers when he was arrested. "They have different expectations from me. If I shout at them, they cry. It is not the same when their mother talks to them sternly. The kids only want me to love them," Abdul revealed.
Talking about his future plans, Abdul said he was studying to become a lawyer. "I am happy to be out of jail, but all of them are innocent too. I want them to be acquitted too," he added.