The 8-step guide to help you expertly navigate the crazy maze that is Eidul Fitr

Published: June 16, 2018

A group of youngsters pose for selfie outside Badshahi Mosque after attending Eid prayers in Lahore on September 13, 2016. PHOTO: AFP

It’s almost time to put your rozas away and bring out the charming ‘please eidi me’ smiles. However, in the woke-era of 2018, celebrating Eid is a much more complex and charged event than it ever has been in the past. And with the elections coming up, probably not the best time to have the entire khandaan (whole family) gathered under the same roof. 

I realise not everyone possesses the same spontaneity and adaptability that I do, so I’ve put together a eight-step guide to help you expertly navigate through the maze of Eidul Fitr 2018:

1. Mom versus eidi

Repeat after me: you will never incur a net-eidi profit on Eid. If a generous relative (has never been spotted, currently a beautiful myth) gives you a crisp Rs5,000 note, either your mom will suddenly appear to give you the “stare” so that you promptly return it, or your mom will explain why it’s a moral danger for youth to have large sums of money, and take it from you for safekeeping, only for you to never see it again.

The rules of eidi are pretty much the same of that of a casino: the house always wins, and you will always lose.

Photo: Giphy

2. The ‘who will you vote for’ relatives

I know the celebration of Eid is really grand, but the elections are just around the corner, and if you don’t talk about them enough, how will everyone know how smart you are?

You can do one of two things: either spend equal time talking about Eid and the elections or, if you feel really smart, talk about them at the same time (Exhibit A: yaar the only thing I want as eidi is for “insert-name-of-completely-incompetent-politician” to win this year.)

Photo: Giphy

3. The Roza Count Association

The beauty of the Roza Count Association is that they don’t have age limits, and anyone can be a member. The only requirement they have is that you have the boldness, confidence and audacity to ask everyone how many fasts they kept, and ask repeatedly until they give you a definitive answer.

For heightened impact and efficiency, they will ask you this in public when the maximum number of people are in hearing range to hear you quietly mumble “I left a few, wasn’t feeling well” and look at you with disappointment and disdain. These folks are probably the most hardworking and diligent team in the entire country.

Photo: Giphy

4. The “health concerned” aunties

The most beloved ice-breaking sentence in our country is,

Arey, have you put on weight?”

I honestly believe aunties don’t even feel you have put on weight in actuality; they just say it out of habit. It’s their sincere, albeit misguided, way of saying,

“We don’t have anything in common, but this is me trying to connect with you.”

So just make sure you have a pre-Ramazan and post-Ramazan picture of yourself available on your phone, so you can protect what little dignity you have left.

Photo: Giphy

5. Satan’s whispers

Almost as if ordained by God to test your faith and conscience, there will always be a relative who gives you a crisp big Rs5,000 note and says,

“Distribute it evenly with your siblings.”

And you ask yourself,

“What siblings?”

In that moment, you forget ever having siblings. Suddenly, you’re in a tug-of-war between good and evil, but honestly, just steal the money and ask for forgiveness – its Eid.

Photo: Giphy

6. The relatives with the Triple Touch Down Hugs

Now is the right time to work on your shoulders to brace for that over enthusiastic aunty or uncle whom you barely know, but who comes towards you with the zeal of a murderous bull and rams into your shoulder first.

Keep on your toes guys – it’s hug or be hugged out there.

Photo: Giphy

7. The children are coming

On Eid, rishteydaar (relatives) so distant they technically shouldn’t even be sharing the planet with you, will come to your house in hordes. Along with them will be children who initiate conversations with,

Aap ke paas game hai?”

(Do you have any games?)

Or move on to,

Tou koi tou game hoga aap ke phone mein?”

(You must have some games in your phone?)

And end it with,

Aap jhoot bol rahay hain, mujhe pata hai aap ke paas game hai!

(You’re lying, I know you have a game in your phone!)

Since they’re not your immediate family, you can’t get away with telling them off, so the best thing to do is to physically confront the little buggers and protect what’s yours.

Photo: Giphy

8. The feeding patrol

If your family is anything like mine, you’ll have the khala (maternal aunt) who gets really offended if you don’t eat everything on the table. A normal khandaan in Pakistan is a conglomerate of many such khalas and phuppos (paternal aunts), seasoned with a chaachi (paternal uncle’s wife) and maami (maternal uncle’s wife) every now and then. Don’t worry, you’re so close to the end, and rest assured this too shall pass.

Photo: Giphy

This heated Ramazan has been a little tough on all of us. It’s been tough to the point that people felt it was a smart idea to wage a full blown movement against a tree species.

Remember: more than anything else, Eid is about dressing up really well and sleeping in the entire day. Now let’s go and drown our sorrows in a fresh hot bowl of Sheer Khurma.

Photo: Giphy

Eid Mubarak!

Maryam Tajalli

Maryam Tajalli

The author is an aspiring writer, entry-level marketing strategist, professional breather, and the only researcher in the world calculating how big a teabag we need to turn the Pacific Ocean into tea. Born as a breach baby, she has successfully retained an upside-down filter to life in general. She tweets @letmemaryam (

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