Shehzad Roy sheds light on what his first day of Eid looks like: “After saying my Eid prayers, I join my family for Eid celebrations. By the evening, I take time out for some friends and hang out with them,” says Shehzad. As far as Eidi is concerned, Shehzad says “Jo milti hai wo agey de dey ta hun (Whatever I receive, I pass it on to someone else).”
“Eid used to be amazing back in the day — someone would take me for namaz, I’d play around in the Eidgah for a while and then someone would eventually come pick me up,” says Roy, reminiscing about how simple Eid is for children. “There is this sense of freedom,” he recalls fondly.
Bilal Khan, on the other hand, feels Eid “is filled with calories and hugs — and a lot of ‘kurta-wrinkling’ as you sit up and down on couches.” When asked about Eidi, he said “My top score is Rs5,000 and the most I have ever given out is Rs1,000. Every Eid, it increases by an exponential amount of -1/2x,” he adds humourously.
When Khan sits down with his family for an Eid feast, they normally discuss random things like “how much over-eating took place” or “how hot it was during the Eid prayers” with the sun right on top of their heads. He further elaborates that as a child, he misses how Eid would usually be in the winter school holidays.
“On the first day, I go for namaz and then head out to the studio to do my breakfast show, ” says Khalid. “Then I come home for a nap — the rest of the day is then dedicated to my family and friends.” The second day is normally spent with relatives. Commenting on how much Eidi he receives and gives away, he says: “I hardly get any Eidi anymore. But I do hand out Eidi to 10 children in the family.” As far as discussions on the dining table are concerned, he said the topic remains family politics.
Remembering his childhood, Malik says, “I remember how there would be an open house at our place, ‘The Malik House’, and it would be filled with halla gulla.”
“Eid is a very festive occasion in our household,” says Atiqa. “On the first day, my sisters and their families all get together at my mother’s place for lunch where we celebrate and bond.” On the second day, she adds, “We usually spend time with close friends.” Being a public figure, she makes it a point to attend at least one charitable organisation’s event as “it’s important for me to help the underprivileged and see them happy.” As far as Eidi is concerned, she doesn’t collect any but gives it to the children in the family and “as a family we do distribute Eidi and gifts to some charity as well.
Recalling her times as a child, she says “For children, Eid is a very special occasion as you are spoilt and collect a lot of Eidi. For adults, it is an important occasion to bring children together and ensure they develop special memories to grow up with.”
“I’m sleepy from the night before [Chand Raat] but I still make it to my aunt’s for lunch,” he says with pride. As far as Eidi is concerned, he says, “I used to collect Eidi before but now I only give it to others. 15 days prior to Eid, it’s funny how peons and guards start working on their greetings — this tells me who is expecting Eidi, so I end up pleasing quite a few.”
“One of my favourite things that I would do as a kid would be to offer my little sister three Rs10 notes in exchange for her Rs100 note — letting her believe that she is getting more by making this exchange. And it worked a number of times!” laughs Haque. Talking about Eid memories from his childhood, he adds “Eid was beautiful — I’d wake up excited surrounded by my uncles, aunts and grandparents. I would go and buy cricket bats wondering why Eid is always on such a hot day. It was soporific.”
Published in The Express Tribune, August 20th, 2012.