Oct 30, 2012

The Eid That Was…

 Eid-ul-Azha, one of the God-blessed days of sacrifices for Moslems has always been my red-letter day. But this Eid was something different. I woke up quite earlier to crack my desperation for a joyous day ahead.

“This is the day of Joy.
This is the day of Felicitations.
This is the day of forgiveness.
This is the day of Eid”
, heralded my facebook status soon after the rooster’s crowing at the break of dawn.

After munching some overpriced bakery and confectionary items, I dressed up for the Eid prayers to attest my presence in the colossal congressional. The scene was no different from the previous Eids in Kashmir. But some events marked this Eid as something new, trendy and changing.

There were countless people thronging the ground turned Eid Gah. But no xyz leader was visible at the sermon seat and no rabble-rousing speech heard. It seemed like Kashmir Dispute was no more disputed as it always had been on every Eid for the xyz leaders. Also “imported beggars” with newly devised strategies multiplied along the length and breadth.        

The bazaars were all packed with kids wearing brand new apparels imitating their pet heroes or heroines whatsoever. Young girls 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.

Well Eid-ul-Adha is mainly pivoted around the importance of sacrifice but times have fatally changed and hence did the cult of sacrifices. Now people outsource the job considering it tedious or unfeasible. New professionals are cropping up who are just a phone call away and do everything for you, right from slaughtering to distribution. No wonder in this tech-savvy world.

Times are changing and we can’t expect people stagnant with one culture. Eidi, the 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. I am sure the concept had been started with a prosperous intention but now it has become more like a give and take system… You scratch my back and I will scratch yours. 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.

As I finished my Eid prayers, I visited my aunt in the old Srinagar city. Visiting downtown is always a delight for an art-loving guy like me. The intricate nostalgic streets and old archaic muddy houses always won my heart. But this time I was totally dumbfounded on watching something I never watched before. A gang of some young boys were splaying a newfangled kashmiri game that imitated stone pelting. The lads, who were merely 10, divided the teams into two squads shooting stones at one another.  Kids have adapted things that were nowhere in the list during my childhood.  I vividly remember the names like Aab-e-Bandook, Taas-e-Bandook and Bagwaan Taas that ruled the roost. But now the young lads are admiring deadly ways of rejoicing the Eid.

As I started moving on I was further amazed to find more young kids pelting stones on CRPF bunkers in real only for the sake of Eid fun. HO! What if they retaliated with a gunshot or even more deadly PSA shot?   

Moreover I found 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, puzzled!!!