Eid isn’t boring!

Published: September 2, 2011
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Seeing hands adorned with bangles and henna makes me feel close to my culture PHOTO: AFP

There are two occasions that I anticipate all year round; my birthday and Eid.

This might sound pretty funny but when I was a little girl my sole purpose of gracing our relatives’ doorsteps was drinking Coke. I was addicted to it like a dipsomaniac is to alcohol. I remember sitting on the sofa, impatiently waiting to hear the sound of ice cubes clinking against the glassware. The only thing restraining me used to be my mother’s glare, without which I probably would have rushed to the kitchen to retrieve that glass of Coke myself. Thankfully, the phase passed as I grew up.

Soon, I started dreading visiting my relatives. The visit usually started with friendly greetings and ended with my relatives firing a hundred questions my way like missiles. I sported a rather mutinous expression on my face, with my shoulders set straight and muscles ticking in my jaw furiously as the neighborhood busybodies entertained themselves by grilling me senseless. These visits used to leave me feeling exasperated, but I was helpless at the hands of propriety.

Each one of us has suffered from a similar experience at least once in our lifetimes.

The unrelenting questions usually start with:

Itni barhi ho gae ho?” (You have grown so big)

No, I decided stay four for the rest of my life.

The inadvertent end of this line of questioning usually comes with:

“My son got straight As in his O/A Levels. He’s studying on a scholarship. What about you?”

And suddenly, everyone’s attention is fixed on you while you squirm in your seat.

However, are these annoying questions a reason enough to dislike Eid?

An acquaintance of mine once described Eid as being an, “occasion on which we hardly celebrate our faith in God anymore.”

She went on to relate Eid with lazing around and devouring an immodest amount of food. Another friend with a natural proclivity to exaggerate went as far as to say that Christmas seemed a much more dazzling affair than Eid. How can the prospect of Santa Claus be more intriguing that receiving Eidi?

Does having to wake up early on one day give us the right to declare Eid boring and tedious?

This is where my opinion diverges with others. On the evening of the 29th of Ramazan, you’d find me glued to the TV anxiously waiting for the big news, which usually leaves me feeling invigorated and exhilarated. There is something about Eid which makes me feel like a child who has just been handed a boxful of Galaxy Minstrels. Women clad in traditional shalwar kamees, their hands adorned with bangles and henna makes me feel so close to my culture. Somehow, Eid brings out the inner child in me; it makes me want to chant Eid Mubarak at the top of my lungs.

However, for me, Eid is not only about the decadent delicacies, interfering relatives, or new and expensive clothes. It is more about the smile on an orphan’s face when gifted with a loving embrace; it is about their joy, reflected in the way they skip and swirl around their surroundings, clearly relishing the new clothes they are wearing; It’s about the tears that gather in a mother’s eye when her offspring visit her in an old-age home. For me, the icing on the cake is the sight of innumerable people prostrating before Allah in the Badshahi Mosque, on the first day of Eid.

Eid is not only just a happy occasion that binds all the Muslims of the world together. It brings back the memories of the 2005 earthquake and the 2010 floods, when all us Pakistani’s stood united and fought against the trials of life with valor. Eid brings back hope that Pakistan will get through the tumultuous years lying ahead. Eid gives us the strength and hope. How can we then call it a drab when we have so much to look forward to?

Eid Mubarak!

amna.sultan

Amna Sultan

A second year A level student studying at Lahore Grammar School.

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