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Eid-ul Fitr

By Kavita Chiranji

It's time once again for rejoicing. Already the Eid spirit is on us with its brightly illuminated shops, crowds of buyers and innovative gift items. After fasting in the holy month of Ramadan, Eid-ul-Fitr is a day of joy and marks the return to the normal routine of life.

Eid and fitr are Arabic words. Eid means festival and fitr means to open, to break fasting or go back to the normal situation. This is the greatest religion festival of the Muslims. It brings together the various strata of society ranging from rich and poor, old and young and friends and foes on the same platform and promotes equality, one of the basic tenets of Islam.

Eid is a day for families to get together, exchange gifts and greet one another irrespective of age or status. They also visit the graves of relatives and pious Muslims. Many people pay fitra to the poor. Food and clothes are also distributed to the poor.

Eid means an extended holiday for young and old alike, since the government declares a holiday for three days. It is a time when city goers with roots in the villages go back to their ancestral homes to meet relatives and celebrate the festival together.

The rural areas bustle with Eid fairs. The fairs are arranged on the bank of a river or under a big banyan tree near the local bazaar. At these gatherings, handicrafts, foodstuffs and sweets are sold. Other popular draws are dolls, decorated pottery and musical instruments such as flute, drum and ektara. Some fairs also boast of merry-go-rounds, puppet shows and bioscopes.

For the very young it is an occasion keenly awaited. The elders are more blase. Says Shayma Karim, 'Eid is a time for families to get together and spend time with each other. As one gets older, the excitement is tempered.'

Eidie Dilemma

By Jennifer Ashraf


So Eid is finally here again! This time though, I am being a teensy bit apprehensive about the usual Eid festivities, which normally I used to really look forward to. One thing that I am particularly dreading is the 'Eidei' tradition; yes, yes, the days of gleefully receiving Eidei have been replaced by the days of miserably parting with it. Your younger cousins, siblings and other general 'pichchi bachchas' suddenly launch an attack on you, and you're forced to part with your hard-earned money. Even if you decide to say 'no', the pouting expressions on these adorable kids soon change your mind. Fear not, cause once again dilemma queen Jen's here with a few ridiculous (if not helpful) ways to escape the Eidei clutches. You'll notice that kids are often fascinated with expensive gadgets. A young guy just might fall in love with your dad's expensive mobile phone, while a young girl might spend hours admiring that new diamond necklace your mum bought. Find their weak point; get to know their heart's inner desire. Then set your plan into action. Two days prior to Eid, casually mention that you're saving money for a new surprise present for your younger cousin/sibling. Needless to say they'll beg and cajole till you finally tell them what the surprise is (your victim's weak point).

During Eid, once they ask for their money, you can start moaning on how hard you have worked on saving your money, and how if you gave away money at this rate, the surprise gift may never be reality at all. Not only will they stop bugging you for their money, but they'll also ensure that others don't bug you as well!
Another thing, which you can do, is to make sure you have a lot of computer games (new and exciting ones). Engage some sort of a tournament, and have everyone join in…soon they'll be too immersed in their games to take any notice of you at all.

Also remember to keep a good supply of chocolates and goodies to ensure that they are kept occupied always, either with food or with games. Try interesting (and semi-forbidden stuff) like planchett, and they'll be too busy worrying about getting caught. Yet, if in spite of all your effort, they still keep retruning for their Eideis then you have simply one option left: Run!





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