Where did All the Magic Go?
When I was a child the day before Eid was very special, a rush to the terrace after iftar to see the much-awaited crescent, the flurry of activity in the household once the moon had been sighted and announced by crackers all over the neighbourhood, the anticipation of the next day, ironing the new clothes, putting on mehendi, planning to meet friends and cousins, everything had an air of excitement. Not that people get excited anymore. But there seems to be a forced cheerfulness, an exaggerated exuberance these days, and most of all an excess of spending on clothes. Lehangas sell at one lakh taka and the shops are swarming with people buying things at exorbitant prices. Somehow, along the way, we have lost our ability to find joy in simple things. The amount of joy is measured by how much money is being spent. I wish somehow I could go back in time when Eid was not about showing off your outfit because it was obscenely expensive but about connecting with people.
A Heart-Warming Incident
This incident occurred a few days ago. It was the usual afternoon rush hour, and all kinds of vehicles thronged the traffic. It was the last few days before Eid and besides looking for money for a proper iftar, beggars were asking for alms so that they could provide enough to their families on the occasion of Eid. Then again, they reap no result since most people shoo them away. Then they turn to the rickshaws and CNG autorickshaws. However one sight intrigued me. A beggar, who had one of his arms amputated went to a nearby rickshaw. The passenger, a middle-aged lady shooed him away, but he was persistent. At last, he was about to go when the rickshaw puller called him back. He then produced a Tk.10 from his pocket and offered it to the beggar as alms asking him to pray for him. It is just wondrous to see that a rickshaw-puller, as a poor man, who has to tire day and night to feed himself and his family three square meals, is sympathetic enough to give alms to a beggar, while people who can afford to hire vehicles or even have their own cars seem to ignore everything around them.
Wahid Tamzid Khan
Relaxing on Eid
For many in Dhaka, Eid is a time for old friends, family members and large get-togethers. Younger persons spend days together colour coordinating everything, starting from their high-heeled sandals to their highlights. It's actually a lot of fun to have this sudden burst of colour, enthusiasm and the energy that the Dhakaites, along with the others in the country, happen to showcase every Eid. However, for me, Eid is the day I prefer to keep for myself. Call me selfish or even an anti-social being, but all month long, I wait for this day, when after the necessary formalities are done with, I lock myself in my bedroom with boxes filled with DVD s and comic books all the way back from my childhood. I cherish this day with all my heart, when I get a break from the everyday chaos and grab a chance to relax.
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