Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Celebrating Id-ul-Fitr: With sweets, toys and 'eidee', the real fun is for children

On the left is photo of children eating the traditional 'siwain' [or sewaiyan] sweets, while playing with their balloons bought from shops at Idgah and are carrying the Eidee* as well.

Though Id-ul-Fitr is a day of festivity, naturally kids have maximum fun on the day.

The phones were ringing from the evening and news of moon sighting came from different towns and cities. Preparations begun soon after.

Ramzan, the month of fasting, had ended with the sighting of moon. As one went to market, one could see excitement among youths and kids. There was rush at the kite shop. "Its Hazrat Amir Khusro's tradition, to fly kites", explained an elder.

Yummy Biryani ...
I too thought of buying a 'charkhi' and string. While girls were busy selecting the bangles, dresses to be worn on Eid, elders focused on having everything ready for the next day's feast.

People queried as to what's the time for namaz at Idgah and which mosque will have the earliest prayer time and those where late risers can go.

The most colourful aspect of Id namaz is that large number of children including girls go to the mosque. For children, the attraction is the 'Idi' or 'Idee' [pronounced as Eidee], the cash given to them by elders when the kids, and toys sold outside mosques.

The 'Idee' reminds one of the famous Prem Chand's famous Urdu story in which the orphan boy, Hamid, brings his grandmother 'chimta', so that her hands won't get burnt while cooking rotis, unlike other boys who spend it on toys.

Kids ran, played and fought until the balloons burst. Those with their balloons intact teased others, who cried and ran to snatch the remaining ones until elders intervened.

When the 'Idee'' goes up, kids plan spending them on toys. Sligthly elder ones go to movies or spend them on things in accordance with their own idea of fun.

Of course, one has to go the house of elderly relatives and congratulate them. Though out the day, it's a stream of visitors.

Instead of the customary three hugs, many now finish it with just one light embrace. Till late night, the rounds of 'mubarak-baad' continued and exhausted, but contented, I hit the bed, having replied to most of the SMS and phone calls.

The train had begun chugging in my head. Leaves gone, one has to return and resume work. With Id-uz-Zuha barely two months away, the thought that whether I would be able to get leave then, has begun bugging me. It is always satisfying to celebrate Id at your hometown.