ABDUL WAJID PARRAY
Eid-ul-Fitr, the heyday of happiness and prosperity signed off all in peace. All the believers who refrained from “things” and all the Deheldes who consumed those “things”, both rejoiced the Eid equally. Shunning the differences and disputes while suspending the rest, people reaped the benediction of Eid. Fortunately I too joined the same, this time at home in Kashmir...thank God.
The bazaars and parks were all packed with kids in their best clothes. Everything minus some indecent pompous lads, presented a beautiful panorama. Little girls wearing pinkish frocks attracted my eyes. The baby damsels carrying shiny purses looked hilarious with their bodies flooded with bangles, earrings and other flashy trinkets. The boys on the other hand presented their naive bully nature with an Ak47 in hand while pockets filled with other ammunition. Ha-ha...needless to mention the plaything.
The D-day of Eid has always been the chief stimulator of adrenaline rush in me and my peers. I vividly remember the level of excitement that I, my twin sib and other two cousin brothers used to carry about the feverous day of Eid. We used to keep a bookmark on the much common J&K Bank calendar, marking it all over with our code words only to gauge the countdown to the upcoming Eid. I still remember preparing long list of items to be bought on Eid. A doodling of the crescent and a star served the purpose of the letter-head while the content was filled with childish handwriting that was hardly legible. The list was tailored on each passing day with some items removed while few more added as per our expected “Eidi” budget. The contents, as I recollect, included mainly the fire crackers with hilarious names like Bagwaan Taas and Zebra Bangool. Our squad of four used a witty strategy of buying the crackers from the wholesale market of Maharaja Bazaar in almost half the market price. Indeed very witty at the age of 10, I must say.
Toy guns listed the top. I liked Aab-e-Bandook, the water spattering gun while my brothers admired the Taas-e-Bandook, the cracking toy pistols. The list also carried the eatables to rejoice and the places to be visited on Eid. Eatables mainly included the junk food while places comprised of well-known names like Mughal Gardens and Nehru Park. The trivial amusement park at Khankah ruled the roost. We were insanely fond of its merry-go-rounds that had seats with thrilling shapes in the form of jeeps, horses and airplanes.
Everything was full of fun, amusement, joy, happiness and yes most importantly satisfaction. Period! What Now? The fervor has lost all its glory. I no more delight the same, except for some nice food. I reason probably because now I have grown up. But that’s fine I don’t carry the love for toy guns, crackers and joy rides anymore. I simply miss the passion with which I used to welcome Eid. I miss the zeal of my childhood Eid, those innocent smiles and the festive visits to friends and relatives….I miss them all. It feels like a vacuum has snatched all those past heydays creating a big void.
Times have fatally changed and so did we. Now people visit one another only to uphold the social implications rather than regarding one another in the real sense. Eidi, the God-blessed monetary gift given to the children on Eid has become more like a rigid formality. I don’t know how and when Eidi turned monetary but it has been there even before I was born. It has become more like a give and take system… You scratch my back and I will scratch yours. If any “xyz” gives my son a hundred rupee note, then I have to return back not less than that, no matter how poor my financial condition is. Kindly ponder over this!! This is not any exchange of gifts and joys but a part of a plagued society that only teaches us how the goddamn money flows.
Moreover people have distanced themselves so much that they prefer to greet one another on facebook even if the other person is a next door neighbor. I feel pity for the tech-savvy Kashmiris, myself included.
Now if I talk of the extravagant bakery and other palatable stuff, then I am sorry this article won’t fit in the limited space. Writing this is only a trivial attempt of my meager perceptive. At the end, “You cannot change the system”, goes the common statement. But I am happy because for me a great day signed off with great returns and yes, puzzlement. And lastly as I returned back with a good collection of bounty, a jam-packed tummy and some disappointment, I laid on my bed, staring at the ceiling, puzzled!!!