Stories about bakra mandi

A single cowhide can fetch around $50 in the open market, but where does that money go?

Eidul Azha is finally here. Just the mere thought of it fills my mind with vivid images of beef and lamb stews, korma and pulao. But let’s not forget Eidul Azha also means rejoicing with our family and friends and understanding the concept of sacrifice. Though let’s be honest, that is secondary in the face of the scrumptious food we get to enjoy. Growing up in Pakistan, Eidul Azha also meant spending time at the bakra mandi (cattle market), picking out the best sacrificial animal. It also involved spending Eid morning with the butcher in the yard as he slaughtered, skinned and ...

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An open letter to bakra mandi owners

Dear bakra mandi owners,  This letter is to express my absolute stupefaction over your outrageous, albeit devious, marketing tactics, yet again, at Eidul Azha this year. The prices of goats and cows have escalated to a level that is beyond the financial capacity of the middle class group to afford. Even the lower upper class is having second thoughts about fulfilling this necessary religious obligation. More and more people are forced to take shares in cows. For me, as well as for millions of other like me, I’m sure, taking shares in cows is extremely embarrassing because it openly screams of the fact that I ...

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Don’t touch my bakra!

Eidul Azha is probably one of our most anticipated holidays in the yearly calendar. Depending on one’s inclination, people normally plan for this religious duty months in advance. Its popularity is also due to the high level of interest that children take in the festivities and it would not be incorrect to say that it is more of children’s Eid than ours. Personally, I am not inclined towards it – I guess the sight of animal blood, urine and faeces all over our cityscape is not very appealing to me and we have our efficient government to thank for this. We have had roughly 69 Eids ...

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11 Pakistani WTH moments from 2015

1. The one-of-a-kind fashion show At the top of the list, it has to be the one-of-a-kind fashion show that took place at cow mandi, Lahore. ‘Qurban hojana’ took a literal turn when models took to the ramp. Ok, perhaps, there was no ramp but rather sand and a little mud with questionable manure thrown about here and there as decor. This was when both fully accessorised women and cattle walked together, limb to limb accentuating their… I actually don’t know what.  2. Corporate Trolling An ad with a sprawled Nargis Fakhri appeared on the front page of an Urdu newspaper. Some ...

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Evolving traditions: Online bakra shopping and a ruined childhood

During Eidul Azha, Muslims venerate Prophet Ibrahim’s (PBUH) utter submission to God, in his willingness to sacrifice his son, Hazrat Ismail (AS), when he was commanded to do so.  The “Festival of Sacrifice” is, indeed, a celebration of Prophet Ibrahim’s (PBUH) steadfastness in his faith, as well as, an occasion for Muslims to renew their resolve to follow his tradition. Thus, Muslims sacrifice an animal on Eidul Azha. The sacrifice is commemorated by sharing one-third of the meat with the poor, while the rest of it goes to the holiday feast. That’s what the adults are concerned with. Children have always ...

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Is your bakra a terrorist?

A week ago or so you were perhaps meandering in the bakra mandi; looking for the perfect specimen to take home. You inspected 20 plus bakras, clutched each animal’s jaw to find out if your bakra-to-be has two or four teeth and sturdy horns – sharp enough to butcher other bakras in the mandi. You inquired about the weight of half a dozen cows, and went to check out that one camel in the neighbourhood also. After loitering around, you finally got down to business, put on your crafty airs and negotiated a deal. You walked out of the mandi with a strong looking, cinnamon dusted bakra. As you ...

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Aunty shaadi kara day gi

I am turning 26 next month. I see how aunties look at me at weddings and mehndis. Even for a guy, I seem on the tail end of the perfect shaadi age bracket. No longer am I the choicest meat at the supermarket; I fall somewhere between that and expired meat, which is then sold at cheaper prices. It seems ironic being compared to a piece of meat, the look in these aunties’ eyes gives me a window into feeling how girls feel going to Aashiana or Liberty market to buy the latest lawn print. Mehndis are no different than shopping malls for ...

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Gullu Butt bakra, Raja the cow and our immature Pakistani media

The end of an Islamic year is marked by the performance of Hajj, an act of submission that Allah has allocated a huge reward for. Pilgrims from across the globe stand humbly before their Lord, seeking His affection. Days and nights are devoted in praising Him, whilst cutting oneself off from worldly desires and temptations. The end of this strenuous round of worship is marked by performing the qurbani (sacrifice) to honour Hazrat Ibrahim’s (AS) sacrifice. This is done not just by pilgrims but also by Muslims across the globe. However, in Pakistan, Eidul Azha has a comic side as well. A side that is mostly projected by our media. As soon ...

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From Houston to Karachi

As happens quite frequently now, my mind and heart tend to gravitate towards the next writing mission for the Karachi-Houston diaries. In fact, just the other day I thought to myself, “Perhaps you should take a break from writing a new entry. It is, afterall, a break from work too.” But as always, the muse intervened, “Write comparatively about festivities in Karachi and Houston.” And as always, the muse won. I have found ritual celebrations interesting to observe. Bari Eid (Eidul Azha) with its sacrifice of animals and meat consumption is a case in point. The ritual is not about the day itself; family members, males for ...

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Are you okay with sacrificing tortured animals on Eid?

Hello people. It’s been ages since I have written, but recently ET released a mini-story on Raja the sheep that made my blood run cold. Trigger warning for anyone who loves animals, but this is the sad reality of Bakra Eid, which I have covered before in: Please don’t kill my goat and Please don’t kill my goat or camel (II). Raja the sheep is owned by Jaffar Khan, a ‘sheep enthusiast’ who needs to be put in jail for the horrifying torture he has subjected his pet to. Let’s leave aside the fact that he plans to slaughter a creature he loves; this grinning ...

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