“Since, I’ve grown up Eid doesn’t hold the same significance for me,” Saif says, as he bites into his Magnum Classic. It’s 11.p.m, we are sitting on one of the pavements at India Gate watching the traffic and eating ice cream. A few young Muslim boys have just parked next to us and are noisily excited about Eid. “You know, when we were younger we would get Rs 5-10 as Eidi and it meant the world to us. But I guess with age the excitement has worn off.”
”You know when I was younger, there was complete chaos at home but a couple of days in a year the house felt ‘normal’ and it felt like a family. Diwali, New Year’s Eve and Rakhi were huge and irrespective of how sick Mom was or who had recently expired, we still looked forward to those days. Happy days! I miss knowing that there will be a few normal days.” I say looking at the passing vehicles.
I come back home absolutely thrilled with the evening I’ve had. Bike ride to Old Delhi, hogging everywhere and then landing up at India Gate. Wow what fun!
I pissed off my instructor the other day when I said I’m bunking the gym on Eid. He looked at me rather suspiciously, thinking I was just making an excuse and asked,’Aap ki kaunsi Eid hoti he?” But Eid is almost as special as Diwali, now. When I’m in Kashmir, I’m invited to my assistant’s house which has more family members than I can count. Everyone gathers around the dastarkhan and we eat the yummiest food that my assistant’s mother prepares, while they joke about this that or the other. There are children running around noisily through the house and it seems like a big happy family and for one day in a year, I feel not so lost.
This will be another happy memory, I hope my forgetful brain doesn’t erase it.