Vol. 5 Num 236 Thu. January 20, 2005  

Eid thoughts of stars
Eid is a good time to catch up with popular TV actress and model cum dancer, Bijori Barkatullah, TV actor Shahed Sharif Khan and pop singer Mehreen. The conversation veers from the culinary delights of Eid (according to Bijori) to the joys of Eid by Mehreen and Shahed's journey down memory lane. Here is what they have to say about this festive occasion:

Shahed's Eid plans
Shahed a popular TV actor, shares some information about his Eid preparations and thoughts on this festival. Excerpts:

"I am still busy shopping for my family and friends. I am basically ticking off names in my list starting from my parents, sister to other relatives. As for myself, I get to buy so many new clothes and outfits for my shooting throughout the year that buying attire especially for Eid does not interest me.

I'll be going to the Gorur haat on January 20. Usually, I accompany my father every year to purchase a cow or a ram. This year, he is a little unwell. That's why I'll be going instead with a few friends.

We do follow the tradition and buy a cow or a goat as per the ritual. However, I find the notion of buying and sacrificing too many cattle a complete waste of time and money. We do sacrifice two or three in one year, though, when we can afford to and distribute it to friends and family.

I plan to go to our village this year. My wife Natasha is abroad now, so I do have some time. We have even bought a boat, on which the whole family plans to go to the village in Brahmanbaria.

There is a major difference between Eid when I was younger and Eid now. As a young boy, I would finally get a chance to actually gallivant outside with my friends for days together, going from house to house asking for eidi (money). Now, however, roles have changed, and I have to shoulder a lot of family responsibilities. At night, I grab the chance to call all my friends and say hello and Eid Mubarak.

For the occasion of Eid, I have worked in a few TV plays, which will be telecast on different channels. Most of the shows are definitely comic, to have the viewers enjoy their holidays and spend some nice time with family members and friends."

Eid memories of Bijori Barkatullah
Bijori Barkatullah a popular face on the small screen, will act in different special TV plays on this Eid-ul-Azha, directed and written by popular names such as Giasuddin Selim, Faria Hossain and Shanta Islam on BTV, ATN Bangla and ntv.

"It is customary for the menfolk to go to the cattle market to buy cows, so the question of my going to buy cows is out of the question. However, I recall a horrifying experience involving the ritual of sacrificing animals. When I was hardly five, I once went to the house next door, wearing new clothes and jewellery on Eid day. Suddenly, I saw a cow dashing desperately towards me. I was extremely horrified by the sight and there was nobody to comfort me. I came home trembling and was down with fever for the next few days.

On Eid days, like everybody else, I love to cook delectable dishes for my family. For instance, I love to make cold beef, which is my husband's favourite. Besides, I make kebabs and other delicious meat preparations. My husband Imon [composer] loves to eat mouthwatering meals but he never goes to the kitchen."

'Eid is a time for family' -Mehreen
Mehreen, a talented popular singer, will appear in many special television programmes this Eid on three different channels. These include musical shows and fashion programmes. And the film Wrong Number, in which she has performed a playback song for the first time, will be released this Eid. To quote her:

"I don't really like to cook because my mother-in-law and my mother see to that. I like to laze about, eat the whole day and also love to watch others cook. I will be looking for the special menus at my relative's places this Eid. One of my aunts cooks Khichuri and a delicious preparation of beef, which I try not to miss. It is not only the festivities, it is an occasion which also teaches us to share with the underprivileged.

I have celebrated Eid abroad on several occasions. However, I prefer observing these special occasions at home. The excitement of Eid in Bangladesh, is almost missing abroad. Also, I miss the intimate environment of home and family get togethers."