Village drummers, traditional Kashmiri songs, rose petals and sweets greeted Dr Shah Faisal, who stood first in the 2009 IAS topper when he arrived home in Srinagar on Friday afternoon.
The Gul Bahar colony home of the Shahs had been illuminated with electric lights as a group of village drummers from Faisal's north Kashmir Sogam village greeted their hero.
Dressed smartly in a black suit and bubbling with joy and confidence, the 27-year old local doctor who was received by relatives, friends, neighbours and some local RTI activists could just not have expected more. His mother Mubeena, a school teacher, was unable to control tears.
Women inside the house were singing traditional Kashmiri welcome songs as rose petals were showered on their hero by well-wishers, relatives and friends.
The festivities in the home started yesterday immediately after the news was flashed that Faisal had topped the IAS select list.
Faisal has a humble background.
Born to middle class parents in north Kashmir's Sogam village in Kupwara district, 120, km from Srinagar, Shah Faisal passed his Class 10 exam from a government school in his native village.
His father, Gulam Rasool Shah, a school teacher was killed by unknown militants in 2002 and that is when his mother, Mubeena decided to shift to Srinagar along with her three children, Faisal, Shah Nawaz and daughter Tilat.
Faisal was admitted to the Tyndale Biscoe Memorial School in Srinagar from where he passed his plus two exams before being selected to the Jhelum Valley Medical College for the MBBS course.
"He stood first in the MBBS exams and later did his internship from. He decided to sit for the civil services preliminary exams. After passing his prelims, Shah Faisal did his coaching for the main exams from the Jamia Milia Islamia in Delhi.
"I knew he would do the entire family proud one day and that moment of reckoning his come in our family today", said mother Mubeena
Faisal's younger brother, Shah Nawaz is also a doctor while his sister, Tilat is a teacher in a village school in Sogam.
Shah Nawaz said he had no doubt that Faisal would make it to the coveted IAS, but was not very sure that his brother would stand at the top of the country's most coveted select list this year.
"Allah has answered our prayers and today we bow our heads before Allah."