Amidst all the feverish preparations for Eid; the battling of heavy traffic and crowded malls, long queues everywhere and equal levels of frustration to get our chores done; there’s an underlying feeling of gratification, especially when seeing the excitement light up in our young children’s eyes.
When I think back to my Eid mornings as a child; it is always awakening to the aroma of moms breyani and freshly baked pies…Dad and bro all ready for mosque, mom getting ready to tackle the task of blow drying her 4 girls hair…Our neighbourhood was alive with all the little kids meeting outside, all dressed in their finest. Going door to door greeting, embracing each other, celebrating together!
I wonder how my kids will remember Eid…If they will remember me hanging their freshly ironed clothes on the doorknob of their cupboards the night before.
I wonder if Raqeeb will remember going to mosque with his cousins, and if Saafiyah will remember going to Deed for her beauty routine of hair and make-up while I see to Zaydaan.
I wonder if they will remember piling up in my car with their Sonday cousins to go greet Naani and Naana; taking scores of photo’s…for memories of course!
I wonder if they will realise how lucky they are to spend Eid with their grandparents…if they will remember playing hide and seek at Naani’s….the lively lunches and dinners…remember the Eid day ritual of climbing in the back of the Quantum van to do the round of greeting with their Dad, uncles and cousins!
I wonder, when they are my age and building memories of their own, if they will look back at these days fondly. I wonder if they will remember…wonder if they will remember half as well as my brother did in this published poem he wrote; celebrating Eid for so many years far away from home…
He’d come into my room early
hairy pot-belly straining against
a towel too small,
face flecked with foam
“It’s time” he’d say.
Little Cotton-wool balls
dipped in Jannatul Firdous
or some other concentrated sweetness
from a cigar box with Alchemist’s delights
no Cohibar or Monte Cristo
but attar with ambergris, or musk, or rose
and placed just so
in just the right bit of my ear
the remnants on oily fingers
rubbed on my new clothes
but lightly so they didn’t stain.
When I was too tall
for a comfortable embrace
he stood on the raised pavement
or the second step
his fuzzy cheek to my smooth
his moustache tickling
“Eid Mubarak” in my ear
(A poem by Asif Firfirey)
Even back then, there was always an Eid photo shoot 😉
Mom always landed up being photographer…