For the umpteenth time I go and check out my Eid clothes hanging in the wardrobe. I am still undecided about which dress I will wear on the first day and which one I will wear the next day when I go for lunch to Nani’s place.
Ahhh… no time to debate with myself about it because mom is calling me as it is almost time for Iftar. I sit on the dining table, waiting for the familiar siren to sound off followed by the Azaan. I wonder if the new moon will be seen this evening or we will have to fast for one more day.
Let’s be honest, most of us secretly wish Ramazan to be over after just 29 days, don’t we? And it is because we are just dying to get into the celebration mode as soon as we can, dress up to our fingertips and hit the road visiting friends and family.
When I am in the middle of the Maghrib prayers, I hear the fireworks going off and I get to know that “chand nikal giya”! I almost jump up with joy and scream “Eid Mubarak” till I realise that I am praying! As soon as I finish praying, I rush out and try to catch a glimpse of the thin crescent myself and after much searching, I finally see it. Yes, it is Eid tomorrow!
In my hearts of heart, I am just not very convinced until I see the new moon for myself. So that is why I always have a few bites of my favourite pakoray and chaat, say my prayers quickly and I am out ‘moon searching’.
Thank goodness things are not like last year, when it was too cloudy to see the moon and the authorities just couldn’t decide if they had seen the moon or not. When many people were halfway done with Taraveeh and mom was busy making something for Sehri, the announcement was made on TV of the moon being sighted. That really spoilt many people’s chand raat plans.
Though I am not allowed to stay out late on chand raat, a lot of my friends had planned to go out and do some last minute shopping and basically have some fun. So they started off very late, but with the whole city staying up and vibrant the whole night, they didn’t miss out on anything. But, I have to confess, they did miss out on most of the Eid fun the next day because they hardly got to sleep at night — what with them retuning with their parents from the chand raat shopping at 2am and then becoming busy in getting things ready for the next day till it was almost time for the Eid prayers — and they all slept upon returning from the prayers! What a dull way to spend the Eid day!
While I do envy the late night outing, I am happy that my parents don’t indulge in this kind of chand raat shopping and fun. They rightly say that the markets are just too crowded with the wrong kind of crowd and most of the things being sold are too overpriced.
I think it is better to get things ready for Eid on chand raat and go to bed early (or at least by midnight) so that we are bright and fresh the next day. I really need a good rest to be ready to go on an ‘Eid meeting spree’ — I really mean an ‘eidi collection and feasting spree’. If I am not well rested, I sleep half the day and miss out on going out, as well as meeting those who come to our home.
Last year, I missed meeting Ahmed dada when he came over, you know he loves me so much that he always gives me at least Rs500 as Eidi! But the sweet soul that he is, he left my envelope with mom and when she gave it to me later, I felt bad that I didn’t get to thank and hug him like always.
You know it is very important to thank those who give us eidi and do it really well, no matter how little the amount may be because what counts is the fact that someone considered us special enough to give eidi. Moreover, everyone has their own budget to follow, so it is the thought that counts not the notes!
Despite my ‘early to bed’ resolution, things do get a bit late because there is the mehndi to be applied. Each year I ask mom in my sweetest voice if we can go and get the mehdi applied from a nearby beauty parlour. And like every year, mom says “No” in her sternest tone. She reckons it’s a sheer waste of time and money to queue up in some parlour and spend the time that can be better used doing Eid preparations at home and pay a hefty price for hastily done henna designs. So she quickly applies it on my hands, in between stirring the sheer khurma.
An important lesson that I have learnt since I started fasting since the last couple of years, is that I should take it easy as far as eating is concerned on Eid. Everyone makes such tempting and sweet delights that I pile up my plate with a bit of everything and end up leaving most of everything! Mom says it’s very rude not to finish all that is in the plate so I should only help myself to the amount that I can comfortably eat. Again, she is right, as she is about everything else.
Well, I am off to pester mom for the mehndi session and hope to enjoy this Eid to the fullest and wish the same for you. Hope your chand raat and Eid are exciting, and if you keep in mind all the little lessons about Eid that I have learnt and shared with you here, you are sure to have a smooth and sweet Eid.
Eid Mubarak in advance!