Karachi's Hassan Ali Effendi Road the hub for Eid-i-Milad memorabilia

Published October 30, 2020
VENDORS display material related to the religious occasion.—Fahim Siddiqi/White Star
VENDORS display material related to the religious occasion.—Fahim Siddiqi/White Star

KARACHI: As Eid Milad-un-Nabi (PBUH) approaches in this blessed month of Rabiul Awwal, the rush on Hassan Ali Effendi Road, where they have all kinds of pretty decorations for different occasions, increases.

There are women there looking for milad decorations such as green fairy lights, long strings of paper flowers and those little paper and velvet flowers that they spray with rose water or attar. There are men on their motorbikes or in their cars looking to buy some nice flags or banners. Children are selecting badges from the vast choice available to them in the market. The badges say ‘Labbaik Ya Rasul’ or ‘Eid-i-Milad-un-Nabi’. Some have glitter on them which the kids don’t want as they say that it spreads to their clothes and gets in their eyes. There are also older people there who are skimming through calligraphy posters.

Mohammad Irfan is there buying multicoloured fairy lights. Each packet has 20 feet of fairy lights. He picks up a few packets of green lights before bargaining with the stall owner, who wants Rs20 for each packet. “But I am buying more than one so I deserve some concession,” the customer argues. He has his way too. “I live in Nazimabad. My kids have been after me since the beginning of Rabiul Awwal to get lights to decorate the front of our house. Hopefully these would be enough,” he smiles. “If not, I will be here again tomorrow as my office is located in this area,” he adds.

There are a few bikers who are selecting small flags to tie on their motorcycle handles. Many have Islamic text on them but there are also others without any text. Just a plain dark green flag with zigzag black and white zebra print and a pretty blur print margin. “The flag was designed at Faizan-i-Madina,” informs one stall owner selling the flags. “It was specifically designed so that even if it falls on the ground, there is no harm done because it carries no religious text,” he explained further.

Published in Dawn, October 30th, 2020

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