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Saturday May 25, 2024

Eid of my childhood

By Ibne Ahmad
April 13, 2024
People visit the zoo at Lake View Park on the day of Eid-ul-Fitr on April 12, 2024. — INP
People visit the zoo at Lake View Park on the day of Eid-ul-Fitr on April 12, 2024. — INP 

Eid-ul-Fitr was the highest as festival of the year in our childhood, followed closely by Eid-ul-Azha and ‘Shab-e-Barat’. Activities for the celebration of Eid-ul-Fitr would start around the middle of Ramadan when we would visit city markets to pick out fabrics for our Eid attire. My mother would look up the trends of the day.

Though we were a very middle-class family, her fashion sense was highbrow. She had a flair for clothes and fashion. Of all the clothes made for us in a year, the Eid dress was the most special. Therefore, she would flip through different shops and decide what to make for my sisters and brothers.

There was a lot of going back and forth to markets, as window-shopping was the order of the day, especially before any major purchase. It was fun, as we the kids, would accompany our mother and aunty in Eid shopping. We had packaged chips as compensation for our aching legs as we went from store to store.

The other major Eid activity apart from shopping was spring-cleaning. Curtains and bedcovers were washed and ironed and every nook and cranny of our abode was cleaned during the last week of Ramadan. The night before Eid there was a mad rush to de-clutter the house. The tops of the chest of drawers and sideboards were made spotless.

The morning began with a lot of activity. Everyone had to take a bath before the Eid prayers. On a regular day, we would take a bath in the afternoon with Lifebuoy. I think this was partly because it was more economical and partly because my parents believed the carbolic element of soap would treat the germs better.

After we took our baths and put on our newly tailored clothes, we would wait for our hair to dry and then accompany my father for the prayers.Eid feasting for brunch included snacks such as ‘Dahi Baras’, ‘Chana chaat’, and ‘Halwa Poori’ and for dessert, ‘Kheer or Sheer khurma’ have been very popular.

On Eid day, uncles and aunties would have their pockets filled with notes. They would offer it to the first one who hit the floor to do the ‘salam’. Soon all the cousins would line up to take turns to earn the Eidi. With the prized note, we bought ice cream. Usually, we were not allowed to have those ice creams, but on this particular occasion, the adults made an exception; they looked the other way.

In those days, the cooking oil of choice was ghee. Therefore, by the end of two meals and many snacks, we were so tired and our tummies were so full of rich food, we would suffer bouts of acidity. We had ‘ajwain’ to put down the reflux. We returned home with droopy eyes.