Amid tense times in the country, Eid brought festivity and colour back to the capital. Residents of the twin cities celebrated the religious festival with zeal and fervour and made the most of their holidays.
Elaborate celebrations took place with people from different walks and age-groups spending Eid in their own special way.
Everybody tried to celebrate the occasion with as much style and spirit as they could after thousands of the faithful had offered Eid prayers. Of the more than 300 congregations for Eid prayers held across the twin cities, the biggest one was held at the grand Faisal Mosque in Islamabad. In the neighbouring garrison town of Rawalpindi, the biggest gathering took place at the historic Liaquat Bagh. People visited friends and relatives as is the custom on Eid. “After praying at the local mosque, I went to my friends’ place where all of us spent time together. In the evening, we held a big family get-together,” said Khurram Zahoor, a resident of Satellite Town, Rawalpindi.
Despite skyrocketing inflation many people managed to make arrangements to enable their loved ones to celebrate Eid. “My family should not be deprived of festivities just because the government does not care about us. I used all my savings to make sure my family has a good time,” said Arshad Khan, a security guard at a private bank.
Children wearing new clothes showed off their eidi as they frolicked in neighbourhood parks. A weighty exchange of sweets and traditional delicacies was observed on Eid like always. Traditional deserts like ‘sevian’ (vermicelli) and firini, were prepared at home and gulab jamuns and barfis flooded the sweet shops of the capital. “Just like choorian (bangles made out of glass) and mehndi, there is no Eid without sevian,” said Mrs Anjum.
Almost all the recreational spots in the twin cities, including Shakarparian, Pakistan Monument, Rawal Dam, Lake View Park, Damn-e-Koh, Pir Sohawa, Fatima Jinnah Park, Nawaz Sharif Park, Ayub Park, Safari Park, Race Course and Jinnah Park attracted large crowds, where children were busy playing games as their elders munched on home-cooked food. Special security arrangements were also made on the occasion to avert any untoward incident. A large number of police and law enforcement officials were deployed at mosques, public places and on roads to ensure “safe” celebrations.
Cinemas and fast food outlets in the twin cities also witnessed a great rush of people. People also thronged to the graveyards to offer fateha for their loved ones after Eid prayers. A heavy rush of flower vendors was also witnessed at the entry points of these graveyards, who were busy making most of the occasion by charging exorbitant rates.
Special arrangements were made by Baitul Mal for people living in orphanages and old peoples’ homes who could not join their family members to make their Eid meaningful.
Published in The Express Tribune, September 3rd, 2011.