Now, I was born in a Muslim household and still am a Muslim. So, despite my undying love for the Festival of Lights, Eid is my primary festival. So back in the day when I wasn’t as old as I am now, I always wanted to burst crackers on Eid. But there was a slight problem; I lived in Kashmir! So every time ‘little me’ wanted to light up a few hydros, dearest Ammi Jan would punch me in the face (or something on those lines), and I would be warned about the situation in Kashmir, and that me bursting a hydro would somehow be interpreted as a nuke attack by certain agencies and organizations and how that would be a great mess.
So the little heartbroken overweight me would drag myself back inside with no desire to live in this miserable world. That phase would last only from the main entrance to the kitchen because the kitchen would smell like heaven and the little me would thank God Almighty for the beautiful world and all the heavenly dishes. There’d be Yakhni (Mutton cooked in milk and curd) for the kids, Qorma (Mutton in spicy red curry cooked in ghee) for the grown-ups and brain and kidneys for the “Pros”. Yes, I was always a Pro.
I’d sit to eat and continue till I was drenched in sweat and drowned in the guilt of my growing waistline. Right after I would have Sewian directly from the bowl, bliss!
Then I’d go around town falling in love with every Burka clad girl asking them to marry me. None of them said yes and I’m still single (or not). Also right before dusk when I’d come home after my adventures around town, the oldies in the house would call and in exchange of a few kisses and smiles give me loads of cash (Eidi). Yes, it was a beautiful world.
I did all this when I was ten years old. Okay, I still do some of this stuff (I’m 20 now). But, this Eid is really about celebrating a month of fasting (that is if you fasted). They call it ‘Meethi Eid‘ and for the entire Muslim world and my little family, this Eid is a very religious celebratory occasion which signifies the importance of the word of the almighty in Islam. How a billion people stay without food and water for hours a day for an entire month. How finally, when there is a crescent-shaped sign from heaven people finally feast. For my non-Muslim friends, it’s an excuse to come over for Biryani and Nihari. For the poor beggars outside it means new clothes and a little money. Whereas for me, I still prefer to be ten when it’s Eid.
I can’t really tell you what Eid is really all about, because everyone has a different story. There is only one consistent – “Eid Mubarak“
Image from Getty/ Deshakalyan Chowdhury