Has Eid ‘modernised’ with time?

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 wish her on the arrival of the blessed month with a dress and her favourite eatables

 My grandmother would retire for most of the month, with special prayers going on late in the nights and resuming early in the morning after a small break

The arrival of the holy month meant quieter afternoons, busy evenings and early bedtimes; at least for the kids

And this is back when it was still Ramazan Mubarak, not its Arab version Ramadan Kareem! At that time, there were no hi-teas, no pizza deliveries or frenzied get-togethers at iftar

The iftar itself used to be a simple affair: Rooh Afza was a must and at our household it was a regular tradition to squeeze a bit of lemon to it to add some zesty flavour

 Pakoras were an all-time hit with all age groups, with the kids competing to hog up all the aloo (potato) pakoras

A simple chana chaat, fruit chaat or dahi phulki would be the ultimate item, topped with a steaming cup of tea for the adults

Today, if the traditional menu is not accompanied with spring rolls, chicken samosas or drumsticks, it’s outrageous and the kids go on a strike

If Ramazan has modernised with time, it’s only expected that Eid gets a makeover as well

For girls, chaand raat still has its charms, owing to arranging dresses and accessories and applying mehndi on their hands and feet

They still throw a fuss over their attire and compare notes with their friends and cousins

The boys, however, may grudgingly wake up for Eid prayers, if the dads are willing to go

But there is no excitement or special preparations on their part

It’s like a duty to be fulfilled, not an occasion to look forward to

When I was young, boys received Eidi after the special prayers

Today, they get it anyway

In the days that have gone, each household had mostly the same platter but it was still appetising to all

Be it sheer khurma, doodh sawaiyan or sawaiyon ka zarda, the crispy fried vermicelli was the key ingredient of every Eid menu

The sawaiyan are still there, but only for those who still crave the Eid of their childhood

Today’s generation tends to respond with ‘No, thanks’ – they are happier with pastries, cakes and pies

Eid afternoons these days are anxiously looked forward to for a distinct reason: taking a nap

The immediate household will pay their dues to each other early morning after Eid prayers or simply first thing in the morning

The enthusiastic ones move on to visit friends or distant relatives

Those who are less eager sneak back to their bedrooms once the morning shift of guests have retired, and succumb to a peaceful rest

The kids are allowed ‘freedom’ on Eid to glue their eyes on their television screens or those of various gadgets, as long as they do not disturb the leisure of their parents

They are promised a generous dose of Eidi in return

The Eidi still has its charms; after all, money never goes out of fashion or demand

Collecting small and big notes of currency and counting incessantly to keep tabs is a favourite past time of kids even today

Only the standards have gone higher, and the generation of today is smart enough to assess the value of money: the bigger the note, the more likeable the uncle or the aunt

Smaller note bearers are simply to be respected

From the first of Ramazan to chaand raat to Eid day, it is a journey of learning

As children, we learnt the values of fasting, as well as the significance Eid brings in the lives of those who fast and those who prepare for the meals

I try hard to revive the Eid spirit in my younger ones, for the spirit, once alive all around us, now beckons to be witnessed

Each year, as I enter the kitchen on chaand raat to prepare kheer or sheer khurma after a mental debate to decide the sweet dish, I try to relive the eve before Eid as it was in my mother’s kitchen

My sons peek in and pass by, a little disappointed at the array of nuts and the aroma of boiling milk

In my heart, I console myself that they may not look forward to my menu, but at least in their memories they would retain what a traditional Eid platter looks like

Today, they may rub their eyes when having to dress up early in the morning to accompany their father for prayers, but tomorrow, they may have a tale or two to tell their young ones

For who knows how Eid may look like in the days to come

Eid Mubarak!

Date:06-Jun-2019 Reference:View Original Link