Stories about chaand raat

Keep calm and get your meat on with this three-course Eid feast

Pakistanis living abroad celebrate Eidul Adha with the same spirit and fervour as they do back home. This colourful occasion unifies us as we joyously spend time with friends and family and share elaborate meals. Eid has unique significance and symbolism, both culturally and religiously. I profoundly enjoy Eid as it takes me down memory lane and connects me with my childhood. The joy of going out for shopping on chand raat, buying colourful dresses and bangles, and adorning our hands with henna, are all fond memories. I remember my siblings and I keenly waiting for eidi, enjoying meals together as a family. I ...

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Has Eid ‘modernised’ with time?

Eid shopping is easy these days. Just saunter in any of the malls, check out the popular brands, take your pick and head back home while enjoying any of the easily available branded snacks. For the parents, this is a job well done. For the kids, it’s one of those shopping trips which is topped with a favourite place to eat out, as celebrating Eid for them is just another holiday. However, decades ago, when I was a child, Eid was a different affair. As we prepared for Ramazan, my father would visit his mother – my grandmother – to ...

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This chaand raat and Eid, give the women a break!

As a long and exhausting month of Ramazan (because of the extreme heat) comes to a close, I am rather grateful for the lavish sehris and iftars I have been blessed with to complete this journey. Every year, Muslims around the world wait for this month to not only repent for their sins but also for the chance to indulge in delicious food at sunrise and sunset. However, only the privileged get to experience this side of Ramazan. There are thousands of people out there who fast with just the intention to fill their stomachs, uncertain of whether they ...

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“Allah Mian, thank you for not making me a rich person”

It was only early afternoon and the clear, dazzling sky, void of a single piece of cloud, was raining fire. There was still a week left of fasting before Eidul Fitr. Abdul wiped his hot face with his thick handkerchief as he walked back to the servant quarters at the far end of the palatial home, where he worked as a driver. He had unbuttoned his uniform shirt by the time he reached his quarters. “Assalam Alaikum,” his wife emerged from the other room. “Walaikum Assalam,” Abdul mumbled. “Please turn the fan on.” Sajida looked at him sympathetically. “It is on full,” she ...

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When PSL came to Karachi, and the city felt alive again

Not too long ago, the city of Karachi was the hub of fear. Residents constantly feared for the law and order situation, and people would think twice before stepping out at night. The festive nature inherent in the spirit of Karachi only made this situation tougher, as in light of growing terror, the festive mood and the lights of the city slowly faded away. Years ago, when the doors of the National Stadium finally closed as well, the people of Karachi eventually forgot what it feels like to turn the lights back on.   Until now. It definitely felt more like ...

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“It’s Chand Raat. He would want to be with family”

He looked again at the big slab of ice, big no longer. It had melted here and there, there and here. There was the memory of ice spread across the table. In zig zag lines, in the air around the table. In the future that was taking a leap into the past. Sometimes he thought his business was not really selling ice but buying time. And the sun was the vendor. The greater the sun’s heat, more the customers, but also greater the probability of the ice melting. Profit, loss. Loss, profit. On the hottest days, people flocked to him and in Ramazan, he naturally became the most important person. For those few hours, at least. He could ...

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The dreaded moment: My first Eid with the in-laws!

Nothing manages to get us desis as excited (read overenthusiastic, obsessive, neurotic etc.) as Eid. It’s like Christmas, New Years, July 4th, Memorial Day and Labour Day all rolled into one shiny, glittery package. For those of us dreading the cheesy greetings, air kisses and chai making rituals which are part and parcel of practically any get-together in Pakistan, I assure you that the horror show continues and in fact becomes worse, as the first Eid after marriage looms ahead. Personally, I have a handy checklist of things that I need to do on Eid – Go out on chaand raat with friends (check) – Sleep in late as ...

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Why Eid in Dubai does not even compare to the Eid in Lahore

Having been raised in two Muslim countries, UAE and Pakistan, Eid has always been the festival of the year for me. I won’t lie, but from childhood till date, my favourite Eid has always been Eidul Fitr, in other words, Choti Eid. In Dubai, Eid was all about henna. Trust me, if you know the art of henna painting, cash in on your strengths and rush to Dubai. All the salons will be packed. In a country like UAE, where no one in their right mind can imagine having heaters, on the eve of Eid, you’ll find Arab women drying their henna painted ...

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Chaand Raat and Eid are just not the same in Karachi anymore

It’s safe to say that Eidul Fitr tops everyone’s list if asked which Eid they prefer, simply because it has always been the easiest way to make money without having to do anything over a span of three days.   I would fall into the same category of those who like ‘choti Eid’ more for the same reason. These motives of looking forward to Eid seem quite shallow, but that’s the only exciting aspect for children, apart from eating unhealthy amounts of food over Eid holidays. But as I grew up, I slowly grew to realise what Eid is all about. It’s a way of thanking Allah (SWT) ...

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Family day: ‘Staring male’ species not allowed — unless with a female …

This Eid, I ordered my kurta from an outlet in Park Towers and I was meant to pick it up after alterations on chand raat. When I got there, I was stopped at the gate and told quite rudely by the security guard that, “Today is a family day” He put his arm in front of me to block me from entering. “What do you mean? I can’t go inside?,” I questioned, to which he responded “No. You have to come with your family. Single men are not allowed inside today.” I even showed him the receipt for my kurta in an attempt to substantiate my ...

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