Stories about Eid

A father, a daughter, and the tug of being in three places at once

The only certain thing in this life is death. I learnt that very early on in life. It was one evening back in 1995, the time on my watch had stopped at 7:35pm. It was a Tuesday, February 28th, to be exact. That was when time rendered still for my father. And for me. I was only a teenager. My father had been ill for a few days and the doctors had put it off as a mere cold. I still remember the day before it happened, my sister and I were at a local pharmacy and decided to get some over ...

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It was desperation that won in the end

“Manji di baoun waaj aandi… Bakhtu di jaag khul jaani.” (This charpayi makes too much noise… It will wake Bakhtu up.) Allah Ditta thought as he struggled to get up while making as little noise as possible. He glanced back at his sleeping son. He bowed down and planted a kiss upon his brow. Rushing out, he turned down his wife’s offer for breakfast, “Bakhtu jaag gaya te tenu pata fer…baharoun kha laisan kujh.” (What if Bakhtu wakes up? I will eat something there). These past few weeks had been nothing short of an ordeal for Allah Ditta. It was still dark out as ...

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Love at first Careem? Uh, no thanks, but perhaps Careem should focus on improving their existing services

There are two things Pakistani’s are unabashedly and unapologetically obsessed with – discounts and shaadi (marriage). By combining these two, I have to admit that Careem’s new rishta aunty service is quite genius. Or is it? No, I did not want to be woken up on a Wednesday morning (Wednesday being the most annoying day of the week) to Careem telling me my “rishta has arrived”. I honestly thought maybe I accidentally ordered a cab and the driver’s name is Rishta, Rishta Khan or something? My brain did not have the energy to solve this mystery, especially not on a Wednesday. When I got to work, ...

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Eidi or sawaiyan? What does Eidul Fitr mean to an average Pakistani?

  Every year, Eid comes with a multitude of expectations; sheer khurma, new clothes, the fresh smell of mehndi, and most importantly, eidi. For most, it means sleeping in, over-eating and repeat, but where’s the fun in that? Eid is all about family, love and celebrations. This Eid, we wanted to get a gist of what people in Pakistan feel about the holiday in general. The responses are heartwarming and hilarious. We hope this Eid is filled with health, happiness and countless blessings! Eid ...

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When the beast awakens on Eid

Let us ask ourselves this. Eidul Fitr approaches amidst scorching heat and Panama hearings. Gulping down fancy iftars and filling sehris, what have we stored for our Eid?  I will tell you what – the Pret collection of branded clothes, quality makeup kits and tall heels. We’ve fixed appointments at salons and parlours to look our best on Eid day. There are lavish meals planned with family and friends. While festive gatherings are in consonance with the harmonious spirit of Islam, there is a question as to how much we actually recall from the holy month that is nearing its end. While these blessed days are spent in sujood (prostration) and taraveeh (obligatory prayers), how ...

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Dear Pakistan, I know our history is complicated, but our friendship is greater. Love, India

When I was a little girl, it was customary for our family to watch at least one new movie every month. Back then, movie titles were always displayed in English, Hindi and Urdu. Therefore, while English remained my primary language of communication, I ended up speaking both Hindi and Urdu fluently. I grew up in Mumbai which has a strong cosmopolitan culture. I grew up with friends and neighbours from different faiths, and was simultaneously introduced to Diwali and Eid, to Navratra and Ramazan, even as my friends got to know more about Christmas and Lent. It was because of this multi-cultural experience that I got to learn so much about the ...

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The lifafa culture and the materialistic desire to ‘earn’ more on Eid

Anybody who has grown up in Pakistan recognises that pretty lifafa (envelope) in pastel colours or in whites, embellished or plain, sometimes with just a name, at other times with loads of prayers written carefully. Inside, the coveted crisp notes and the smell of the currency printing press chemicals. These notes give many a banker sleepless nights during the last two weeks of Ramazan, as clients are ready to both beg and intimidate bank officials for fresh notes. Fifty ya 100 walay (ones). Five hundred walay. 1,000 walay. Even 5,000 walay if the family is upper tier. Getting eidi is the one time when we all enjoy feeling young because every one of us is ...

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Impress your guests this Eid with these scrumptious yet easy mini kebab rolls, achari chicken, mango sawaiyan and ginger peach drink!

For a month that was perceived to be extremely slow, Ramazan sure flew by. The one Eid I got to celebrate in the UK was surely a memorable one. Our desi crew went to the campus mosque, offered prayers, then headed back to the dorms where we all had doodh patti (milk-based tea). Later on, we all dressed up in our desi attire and went to watch Salman Khan’s Kick (not a memory I cherish). Afterwards, we headed to Akbar’s for some good old desi splendour. It’s funny and maybe it’s only me, but Eid abroad feels more like Eid. I still have not been able to pinpoint exactly how or why, but ...

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Same old cast, same old war, same old producers – will Yalghaar be any different from Waar?

Forget sawaiyan and prepare yourself to feast on three sumptuous cinematic delights this Eid instead. We have got the Salman Khan starrer Tubelight vying for our attention against two local offerings. While Yasir Nawaz’s Mehrunnisa V Lub You might sound like a safe bet, owing to its over the top Bollywood vibe, it is Hassan Waqar Rana’s Yalghaar which has gotten yours truly all psyched. Seasoned stalwarts like Shaan Shahid, Humayun Saeed, Ayub Khoso and Adnan Siddiqui are all part of the incredible roster along with Bilal Ashraf, Umair Jaswal, Gohar Rasheed, Ayesha Omar and Sana Bucha amongst many others. The huge ensemble cast reads like a dissertation on the who’s who of the Pakistani entertainment industry. Photo: IMDb [caption ...

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Why can’t Muslims celebrate Christmas?

Moderating BBC Asian Network phone-ins, the DJ’s energetic voice brusquely interrupted my overlapping memories of Christmas and Eid. Coarse cotton straight from the forty-yard tha’an bolt. Shimmering saris, suits, and achkans. Coriander, jasmine and mustard seed hair oil. Old spice, khas attar, and shalimar. Narcissus and roses surrounding individually wrapped fruits in da’ali gift baskets. Desi ghee from mithais scintillating with gold and silver leaves. Gota, glitter, and glitz. Teeth shining from a walnut bark rub, lips red, eyes sparkling. Cakes decorated with ‘Happy Christmas’, ‘Happy Eid’, ‘Merry Christmas’ and ‘Eid Mubarak’. And then British Asians hyper-ventilating on BBC with their glottal stops and vowel shifts in top gear, breathing hard over ...

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