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Eid in Pandemic


Navid Faruque Anim


Eid-ul-Fitr always happens to be more gratifying for me, personally. There’s always a sense of attainment to completing 30 days of fasting, a sentiment which I find absent in the Eid two months later. Another reason is, I have spent Eid-ul-Fitre with kiths and kins in hometown most of the years. Due to the strike of this year’s pandemic, things are different. Still amidst deaths, lockdowns, quarantine, and unnerving faces, my naive conscience finds itself descending into the vast array of thoughts of what would happen if the situation weren’t this atypical.

We reach our respective destinations after hours of journey by mostly by buses, trains or cars. It’s astonishing that people still don’t think of deserting their plans even after inhumanely long congestions of buses and private cars before Ferry Ghats. But to think of the fact, we have an opportunity to spend this time with our loved ones away from the monotony of hectic working spheres, puts forth a smile upon faces despite the wearing journey.

The day before Eid is always special. The cheering and rousing atmosphere binds every person in the crowded home, be it in maternal or paternal side’s place. Most of the people reach their families by then. All of us — cousins, uncles, aunts,  engage in gossips sitting round — extending even after midnight, there’s no humdrum or distress of day to day realm. We get to relieve ourselves for the moment and lean back on life.

I always manage to keep my record intact of waking up late in the morning, ceaselessly to catch the Jamaat of Eid Namaz. Hurrying in the shower, then dressing, I seem to be running along with other counterparts in the family. Catching the Jamaat is like Eid-day’s job being half-done; the next one is succeeding in completing the Wajib Namaz. 

As most of us would know the difficulty in maintaining Taqbirs, every time I find myself keeping track of the ones beside me. Of course, things would be different this year. One of the extraordinary customs after Eid-Salaat is, we embrace each other in the joys of festivity. We resolve our absence in a single hug even though we haven’t met in a long time. This time of the year, we get a chance to pray for our loved ones who have departed — the grandparents, letting them know we still realise their absence, and they haven’t faded away in the sands of time.

Back at home, the variety of scents of spices and ghee coming from the kitchen, bewitches everyone in impatience for the appetizing culinary delights to be finally prepared while we are having Shemai. Finally, we all sit together sharing food with each other, helping in serving one another.

Then walking through the village, I get to meet people at tea stalls with cousins and uncle . We may even go on a boat journey together, against the backdrop of never-ending greenery reflecting on the water. All of these minute details of the day in my conscience now hits hard in the form of nostalgia. Still to think of it, at least, people around me are in good health, still unaffected by the virus. 

We are still able to enjoy it as we can do in quarantine. At least, we don’t have to struggle to earn daily meals like many in our country, at this moment. Many of them depend on the Zakaat we pay each year. That, indeed, is the spirit of Ramadan, to realise the pain of the destitute, the helpless, and the hungry. What we can do best is, realise this and try to help the not-so-lucky ones by the minimum contribution we can make for them, and pray earnestly to Allah for redemption and from this pandemic. That’s the slightest impact we can make in good spirit for the globe at present.

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