Photos : Kazi Tahsin Agaz Apurbo
You know Eid is just around the corner when all you see on the streets are shoppers pushing and shoving, queuing on the sides, spilling out from the shopping malls, and sometimes choosing to take a mad dash across the street and displaying moves worthy of any great stuntman. This manic spree is reserved for this time of the year only; Eid-ul-Fitr, the biggest festival for Muslims, makes all this madness perfectly normal. You get the license to buy as many clothes as you want. Eid becomes synonymous with brand new clothes -- lots of them. Little did the caveman know of the storm that would ensue the second he draped the deer skin around him.
From the nerd in your class to the kid who has just begun to sputter out words, it is the same squeal -- “Notun jamaa chai!” Conversations tend to begin with, “So, did you buy your clothes yet?” Generally speaking, the questions that follow do not elicit the right answers, as far as genuity is concerned. This is the mystery that Eid clothes come with: the kind of attire and its price is rarely disclosed. Of course, there are those who scream from the rooftops the number of sarees they have bought and the hefty 20k plus tags they each cost, but let's not take the Eid spirit to such nauseating heights. So getting back to the mystery in question, for the teens and the early tweens, letting someone see the new clothes equals to committing the original sin, as some would tell you with much enthusiasm, “Dekhale Eid shesh hoye jabe!” (My Eid will be ruined if I reveal what I will be wearing!). Concealing the price, design and other crucial specifications of the cloth makes perfect sense -- it is after all, a build up to the ultimate showdown.
City dwellers are by now, familiar with the names of Indian movies and celebrities that certain designs of shalwar kameez or punjabi are addressed with. Salesmen sing out the names of clothes: Delhi 6, Love Ajkaal and Dostana. This time around, it is reportedly the flowy Sania Mirza kameez that is making the rounds. This sure does add amusement to the life of a stressed shopper!
The search for that perfect kameez or punjabi is a month-long mission that ends as soon as the eyes set upon that perfect piece; violins are heard and suddenly, all the traffic jams and the tired, aching feet turn out to have been worth it. Those who just cannot find the perfect gem brave their circumstances and turn to their own pools of creativity. The dormant designer emerges; materials and designs are thought and dreamt of until the final trip to Chandni Chawk or Banani Bazar, where everything from the cloth to the embellishments fall right into place.
When it comes to making those clothes, another story ensues -- one that involves the band of men who can either be wizards who whip up the exact creation you imagined, or end up being agents of all horrors. The most unfortunate ones are those who find their Eid outfit in all the wrong size and design. Tasneem Zaria, a final year university student, shares, “My tailor made my Eid outfit twice my size and when I went back to confront him, he had the nerve to blame it on my weight. All I did was swallow my pride and have it redone!”
The contagious spirit of Eid shoppers is known to catch up fast and sure, such that the most reluctant shopper gives in to the hype. That is exactly how Eid breaks the myth that men hate shopping. No, they don't - the scenes outside the shopping malls tell a different tale.
Such is the mad world that Eid shoppers belong to. After all the fuss and frenzy, there is the joy of shiny, crisp fabric -- a joy singular of new clothes. Happy Eid, folks!
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