The distribution of meat amongst family members, friends and neighbours during the Qurbani'r Eid is a long standing tradition and religious practice in our country. Although the methods and focus of the tradition has changed somewhat the essence of the thing has remained the same.
The initial idea was to share your portion of the meat with those who are less fortunate than yourself. That has since evolved into (like almost everything else) being almost a show of stature as people strive to send friends and family members the best possible part of the meat so as to show them how good their sacrificial animal was this year. (Worst case scenario involves them being personally left with bones only!)
Here are a few ideas on how to organise the distribution of meat for this year.
Make a list
Always make a list beforehand. At least two days before Qurbani sit down for twenty odd minutes and list down the names of all the people that you want to distribute the meat to. After the initial list is done recheck it the next day to make sure that you haven't missed out on anyone. Doing it this way makes it easier for you to keep track of whom and how many people you are distributing the meat amongst. Also you can buy sticky labels and then write the names on the labels and stick them on the packets that are mentioned below.
Get Freezer Packets
You know those packets that they keep meat in super-stores like Agora? Get a bunch of those or as many as you need. They come in very handy as now all you have to do is weigh the amount of meat you plan to send and put them in the packs and viola! All is well and done. Also assign weights to packets so you can keep track of the amount of meat that you are actually giving away. For example put 1kg in each packet and then just counting the amount of packets will show you how much meat you have handed out.
Don't keep the meat exposed
Carrying the meat around open is not the best idea in the world. For one, it is not hygienic enough. Secondly it doesn't do much for the smell or the seat covers in the car. Finally its visually not the most pleasing thing as well being seen with all the meat in tow. An easy solution is to get one of the easily available coolers that we use in picnics. That way you can keep all your packets there and thus make your ride comfortable and odour free.
Another similar alternative is to carry the meat in newspapers so that it doesn't seep through to the seat covers or mats.
It should be noted though, that in recent times the trend of doling out meat amongst friends and family has declined considerably. Most people these days prefer not to go sashaying around the city disbursing meats. Instead they hand out considerable freebies to local charities, orphanages or treat all the fakirs of the area at one time.
While this saves them a great deal of hassle what it also does is make that bit popular in their locality. A little like killing two birds with one stone!
Finally ,however, it is important to remember the true meaning of sacrifice and thus make sure that the ones less fortunate than ourselves have a day worth remembering. After all isn't that what Eid is for?
By Quazi Zulquarnain Islam
Photo: Munem Wasif