adults would agree that Eid during their childhood was a whole
lot sweeter than it is now. It's almost impossible to look forward
to Eid with the same, now that childhood is long gone by. Eid
is now just another day, except for those of you for whom a
full-day-long sleep is enough to make it special.
those childhood days the countdown for Eid started as early
as the beginning of Ramadan. We never counted how many rojas
had passed, we calculated how many days away the Eid was. Every
day gone by meant Eid came closer by another day. As it came
near and nearer, our excitement grew all the more intense. Days
were spent making plans -- i.e. what we would do, where we would
go, when we would wear which dress etc. Nights were spent revising
the same plans in our dreams. The three-days long programme,
starting from the Eid day, was meticulously worked out -- Children's
Park via the ice-cream parlour in Elephant Road on Eid day,
zoo, via the national museum the next day after Eid, Botanical
Garden or Sangsad Bhaban with plenty of chatpati, phuchka
breaks in between and so on. The excitement level rose to a
peak on chand raat that Eid was only a night away made
sleep hard to come by. But how sweet were those sleepless moments.
other Eid plans shopping certainly featured prominently. In
school between two classes, there were hectic discussions regarding
the hot items in the market. Someone would excitedly announce
the arrival of “Jump keds” while someone else would talk about
“Pearsons shirts”, the latest hit. However, till then our idea
of Eid presents for us boys were limited to shirt, trousers
and shoes. Bodiul, one of my classmates, was first to enlighten
us with the knowledge that Eid presents did not necessarily
mean those things only. It was the Eid when we were in class
IV. It was the first day of our school after the Eid vacation
and we were all shining in our new get up. But when Bodi casually
showed his own Eid present our short-lived glory quickly deflated.
It was a Casio watch, which not only had a light to see time
in the dark, but, most surprisingly to our young minds was the
fact that, it would suffer no damage even if it was dropped
into the sea and brought back. We never forgave him for making
us burn with envy for a long time after that Eid.
unbreakable rule of Eid was that your Eid present could not
be shown before the Eid day. The Highest level of secrecy was
maintained in this regard. The idea was 'Eid presents become
old once others have been before the Eid day.' But mothers,
disrespectful and insensitive to their children's principles,
often spoilt everything by showing our presents to others. Pappu's
mother committed this mistake one year, causing serious damage
to his ability to safeguard the 'newness' of his Eid gift.
Eid prayer was another of our major concerns. Saying Eid prayer
at Eidgah or Baitul Moquarram was considered a remarkable achievement
and those few, who were fortunate enough to go there, made sure
that everyone else heard every bit of their splendid experience.
I, who could never make it to those grand Eid prayers, had to
be content with the same old local mosque.
highlight of this most important childhood festival came after
the Eid prayers when we would all go to my friend Mizan's house.
Mizan's father, a wealthy contractor, used to be the first man
to receive our kodombuchci (touching of the feet to
show respect). It was never known how he felt about it -- I
mean to become the first victim of our hunt for Eidi -- but
that suited us all the better. He would give each of us a glossy,
shinning one-hundred taka note. The moment we secured our first
salami into our pockets we remembered the wise saying
-- “Your first salami determines the rest of the day”, a derivative
from 'morning shows the day'.