KARACHI, Oct 27: With the images of earthquake affected people fresh in memory, Karachiites seem to be in no mood to celebrate Eid with their traditional fervour this season. The mood is reflected in the markets which have fewer customers even when only eight days are left to Eidul Fitr, commonly perceived to be falling on Nov 4, Friday.

Even the thin crowds of shoppers in the popular markets are of people who just want to appease their youngsters on this otherwise festive occasion.

Besides, if you talk to people, they will show no enthusiasm about Eid.

“I have dropped a plan to buy a kurta-shalwar for myself but the children cannot be made to understand the implications of the 10/8 tragedy,” said a man, Anwar, roaming about in a Tariq Road shopping area accompanied by three teenaged boys on Wednesday.

Another middle-aged man, Hayat, said although he had purchased a pair of shalwar-qameez, he would probably feel embarrassed wearing new clothes when people would be collecting donations for the earthquake-devastated areas.

A man visiting a Saddar market from Steel Town with two small children said he had persuaded his sons to make do with only one suit instead of separate shalwa-qameez and pants-shirt pairs. “I am happy that they have finally agreed to my suggestion,” said Manzoor.

Asked if he was buying clothes for his family, Ishtiaq Ahmed Khan, an officer in the National Bank of Pakistan, said: “Not at all. We are not celebrating Eid. We are mourning the death and destruction caused by the earthquake in Azad Kashmir and the NWFP.”

A visit to shopping areas -– Gold Mark on Korangi Road, Tariq Road, Saddar, Gulf Shopping Mall on Clifton Road, Saddar and Zainab Market — shows that there is no usual Eid rush of shoppers though shops are brimming with goods for the festive occasion.

“The wholesalers, who spurned our requested previously, are too eager to give us goods on credit this time,” said shopkeeper Farhan in the Zainab Market.

“They say money is no problem, just keep the goods,” added the young bearded man also sporting a ponytail.

Even the hordes of beggars that descended on the city every Ramazan are missing from their favourite points. They have correctly read the citizens’ gloomy mood.— Naseer Ahmad

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