In between two eids and two worlds, one skeptic asks, what is even the point?
Growing up, I always hated eid. Being Bohri meant that we celebrated it two days in advance to the "public", and the two extra days seemed to stretch interminably until thankfully, it was time to go back to school. School was welcome but it was the "What did you do on eid?" questions that I always dreaded. The answer was usually, nothing. I don’t have ten thousand cousins, my mom is an only child, so you can imagine how small our eid affair was. Going for eid prayer is an alien concept and as an unfashionable, dumpy child, I had nice eid clothes, just gaudy enough to be praised out of social nicety.
For many years, the second day of "public" eid was when one of our closest family friends threw a huge dinner party at her place. This was when I was a part of a "big family" celebration by proxy and those two hours were the only ones worth looking forward to. The rest of the days, given our ages, was when our parents stuffed us in the car and took us on the usual visits. Sometimes we would see our aunt twice because she would visit in the morning and we would visit her in the evening.
Even the much awaited eidee was not something I was excited for because all my life it increased in Rs50 increments till we were finally deemed worth Rs1000 of eidee. I would go back to school and girls would have gathered Rs 10000 eidee for the lucky accident of being the only daughters, making me wonder WHO ARE YOU PEOPLE? Another eid tradition was inviting the "nand" aka my Phuphu, for eid dawat, always a sordid affair, depending on our tensions with her in any given year. As you can tell, quite the fun family we are.
Over the years so many of these traditions have been reduced. Favourite neighbours’ second-day eid dawats are a thing of the past. Mom is too tired to cook a four course meal for our family dawat, Foodpanda is our new best friend.
In those years I have learned a thing or two, and made new traditions. Nothing beats roadside Chinese during the eid rush when out shopping with family. I always try out a new dessert every eid for 3 years now. My salted caramel chocolate tart was a thing of beauty if I am very honest. I attempt to make banoffee pie every year and against my hair-in-a-bun, pajama-doning will, I dress up for an eid selfie.
This year though, I denied myself any eid shopping, choosing to donate to charity. The only bit of luxury I am going for are a mani, pedi and a facial – on a coupon, of course. I look forward to catching up with friends, READING and watching Netflix and maybe go catch Oceans 8.
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I still think eid is a glorified tehvar, built on commercialization but then again what isn’t? It’s the one time of year your Instagram is flooded with beautiful people, the most cynical of the cynics warm up to sheer khorma and eid hugs are as awkward as ever. In any case I welcome the long weekend because hello, ME time (and forerro rocher cake) and that is eid for me.