10 relatives I meet every Eid

Published: August 20, 2012
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Eid is one festival that brings together even the most distant of family members. PHOTO: AFP/ARIF ALI

Eid is one festival that brings together even the most distant of family members. We celebrate it with so much love and enthusiasm, mostly in hopes of bagging as much Eidi as we can.

There are, however, certain types of relatives that you are always reluctant to meet on this auspicious day. Here is a list of ten kinds of relatives you hope to not encounter on Eid as much as you get to, much to your disappointment.

The unknown one:

You walk into the drawing room and begin your round of hugs and Eid greetings. Just as you are about to sit down, a woman asks you,

 Mujhay pehchana?

(Do you recognise me?)

You have no idea who this woman is and you feel cornered now.

Aunty jee is smiling sweetly at you and you just don’t want to tell her that you have no clue as to who she is, especially with your mother looking at you with a wide smile that says ‘I told you aunty ‘fill in the gap with a name I forgot’ was coming over today’.

Reciprocating her smile, you softy reply,

Of course, I know you.

Her smile stretches and she asks,

 Who am I then, tell me?

You think: Uh-oh… Busted.

The ‘kha lo, beta’ (eat, child) aunty:

Never try declining her offer sheer khurma or even explaining how your stomach is full of all the stuff other aunties have forced you to eat. ‘No, thank you’ and ‘yes, please’ will both result in a bowlful of this dessert in your hands. So save yourself the time and energy and enjoy the bowl.

The kanjoos (stingy) one:

In a country where the nine year average inflation rate is 10.6 per cent, you would expect the Eidi rate to go up by at least five per cent every year; but not for this category of relatives.

Every Eid, a senile aunty or uncle put their hand on your head and give you a small envelope with ‘Eid Mubarak’ printed on the front and a fifty rupee note tucked inside.

Yesterday a beggar chased me into Khadda market screaming,

 Baji (madam), baji give me a hundred rupees, at least. I want to eat bread.

So keeping in mind that even the less fortunate ones are demanding higher than what you will ever receive from these relatives, just settle for a hug instead and save some of your dignity.

The religious one:

You see him and you think: Do I really need a re-run of this morning’s khutba (sermon at the mosque)?’

These are the type you want stay away from because not everyone can pretend to listen to what they are saying. As humans we can commit the mistake of yawning while they repeat themselves over and over again. This is a dangerous ground to tread on, because trust me, they can get offended very easily and you do not want, I repeat, do not want an upset relative on Eid.

The competitive ones:

These are the ones that will always inquire about your clothes, henna, bangles and shoes, even before they greet you.

So where did you buy your clothes from?

Acknowledging your reply, they carry on by very craftily show-boating their extravagant dress and everything else.

Ashiana? Oh, I got mine from ‘ fill-the-gap-with-an-overpriced-designer’s-name’ boutique, cost me ‘x’ thousand rupees but I just love the needlework. It’s so delicate, you know. Worth every rupee.

Your henna looks nice, I got mine done from blah-blah parlour. It’s a little more expensive but they do it nicely, not like the women on the road, they do such a clumsy job.

Oh well, I did get mine done from outside of Gulf market and guess what; it was from the lady sitting on the road.

Need I say more?

The shocked one:

So you are meeting this relative after two long years and at the sight of you she says,

Beta (child) you have become so big!

To this, you can’t really say much so you smile at them with a simple ‘yes’ in return.

You think: Even Sherlock Holmes couldn’t have figured that out about me by just looking at me!

The know-it-all:

Sheer khurmas pouring, envelopes are changing hands, you’re sipping chai (tea) in the subconsciously formed male section of the room and you know it is Eid till you catch a phrase from the ladies side. It starts with a reference to an acquaintance spotted alone with a lady friend and ends with the word ‘tauba’.

You turn, tune in to the conversation and search for the face that speaks of such gossip.

Yes, it’s her again. The CEO of an intrinsic communication network that spreads the word faster than Twitter or Facebook. She is the ultimate source to the city’s happenings.

Now you can stop smiling and shaking your head in disbelief because it is true, we all have at least one of these in the family.

The absent one:

Your family drops by their house every year and each time the chokidar (guard) tells you they are not home.

How can this happen every year? Like, every year!

The inquisitive one:

These relatives have a list of must-ask questions to bombard you with like napalm. So before you face them, be mentally prepared for random questions like about school, work, children or parents, your vacation, your plans for the week/day. And, of course, the inevitable query,

Can I get you something to eat?

To this, I have responses like: It is great thank you; they are good, MashAllah; it was very nice; nothing much really; respectively to each question asked. When they eventually do leave to get you something to eat, you should be able to buy some time to come up with a few questions of your own.

The clingy one:

Serve food to them, sit down, and smile.

Watch the clock tick as two hours pass.

Serve some more food, sit down again and come up with a strategy to get them moving.

You love meeting family on Eid because it is warm and loving but sometimes, there comes a point when we all have just had enough!

Read more by Mawish here.

Mawish Moulvi

Mawish Moulvi

The author is a recent graduate from the University of Edinburgh with a Masters of Arts with honours in English Literature

The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.