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Tuesday, August 6, 2013

The Eid as I remember

Back in the days when grandmother, was alive, Eid used to be something else. Come morning all us cousins, aunts and uncles would head to her house. The older cousins were dressed to the nines, the aunts wore kitchen friendly clothes and soon the delicious aroma of a million things cooking on the stove pushed out any sadness.

The fest started at breakfast.

I remember my Mom and khalas, together in the kitchen, cooking together gossiping about those not present. Oh! The things they would find scandalous. Someone’s son had started smoking, someone else had been caught lying and a kid was actually sleeping in until – gasp – 12 o’ clock!
The talked and laughed and cooked non-stop.

At times we were given lemons to squeeze, onions to peel and garlic to crush. But even if you had a chore, you were not welcome in the kitchen and definitely not encouraged to eavesdrop on grown up conversation. So, we kids mostly stayed out in the garden, playing Chupan Chupai, Carrom and putting on a quiz show using raw guavas with sticks in them as a the mics. We raced each other up the fig tree and jumped on the roof till someone told us to keep it down. Once a cousin was dared to jump from the roof, he wouldn’t and then someone told him he would do it.

The things we did. A lifetime ago.

Everyone has gone out in the world and has made a place for themselves, but in making that place, we’ve all moved very far from the place we belonged to. On Eid days now, I am at home only to celebrate the Eid, but is not the same. I know that now there are no one who will call me up for the Eid Namaz or wait for me to get ready, because I usually get ready at last in house. There is no happiness of wearing the no cloths. “Hey, what is the point of making an effort when nobody is coming for Eid?”

The compulsory house calls of Eid’s of the lore have simply become phone calls now. I call cousins and laugh over the same stories we’ve laughed at a million times before. We remember the grand times we had and wonder when we’ll all gather back in the same roof at some time.

By mid-day the calls are over and done with. So Eid passes, simply as an off day and not as one of the most perfect days of the year. Every year, I find myself going back to the Eids of my childhood and every year they become a little more perfect, a little more fantasy-like. I miss the company, the feeling of being young, happy and having an eternity to spend, but most of all, I miss the tradition.

Note: This is someone else thought, which I just used