Wednesday, November 02, 2005

'Twas The Night Before Eid ...

... or it might not be.

One of the great mysteries of Eid-ul-Fitr, atleast to the non-Muslims, is why can't you say which day it will be, until the last possible hour of the night?

So tomorrow, Thursday, or the day after, Friday, will be Eid, depending on the sighting of the new moon tonight. Our mosque is on record saying Eid will most likely be on Friday, based on the astronomical predictions provided by the mysterious Hilal (moon-sighting) committee. I am hoping it's a Friday, I have already taken the day off from work and planning for a long weekend of Eid partying.

The girls are going to have a henna party. This implies I have to get out of the house. I am going to do no such thing.

The male elders (the uncles) are planning a strategy the military would be proud of. At this moment a street map is spread on the floor, and the four heads of the neighbouring households are looking over it.

"Hmm.. we cannot go north on Markham Rd, there's a left turn and it takes 10 minutes to clear."

"What about coming from the North?"

"No good. That entrance will be blocked by the rush hour crowd on Friday."

[A pause as the uncles chuckle at the poor fools who are going to work on Friday while we take off for Eid]

"How about McLevin?"

"Yes, you are right Mobin bhai. McLevin it is."

The 'uncles' were determining the best way to get to the mosque, avoiding the traffic rush of the thousands of others who will also try to get to the mosque, get the best parking (closest to the mosque), all the while leaving as late as possible (for the mosque) and yet making it on time. Very precise planning, this.

We-of-the-youth are making our plans too.

"See if you sit in that corner of the mosque you can relax as you will have a wall behind you to lean on. And sitting there means sitting under the fan, while also close to the door. That way as soon as the service is over we can leave and-"

At this moment the uncles come in so we switch to some other topic with knowing smirks.

"Beta (son)," The eldest of the elders announces. "Here is the Eid Schedule."

The Eid Schedule is the Planned Itinery. At so-and-so time we are going to leave for the mosque. So many cars will meet at Rendezvous A, after which we will leave. And such-and-such time the service finishes. On the way back first we stop at Mr A's house. Mrs A is making parathas. Then we move over to Mr B's place. Mrs B is in charge of the sweets. Then we return to our place where we will have tehari. Following on to the next house for who-knows-what.

Then there are relatives. That means minor adjustments to Planned Itinery. People visit friends, relatives, and have a feast on Eid. And that's just the morning.

Come the Eid morning, however, all that planning is aptly forgotten and things are taken on the fly. After all, Eid is a time for fun, and fun means being spontaneous. So we will visit houses out of order. We will give the wrong Eidi amount as gifts to the wrong person. We will eat the wrong food at the wrong place. And no one minds.

The first time I had Eid candy (we called everything toffee back home), I looked at my father and clarified, "So wait a minute. I am allowed to eat as much candy as I like?"

He was also in a clarification mood. "Of course. It's Eid." Then he added, "As long as it's no more than six." He knew I wouldn't count, and neither would he.

I pity those poor Moz who do not want to celebrate Eid.

"What's the use," these Muslims would say, "it's not the same here."

So what? The beauty of holidays around the world is it's never the same everywhere. Each place has its own variety. Rather than compare, just relax and enjoy the moment.

Eid Mubarak everybody.



Shabina said...

You said moz! Eid Mubarak, we celebrate tomm iA (as in, thurs)

We saw on Bridges TV that a masjid in Toronto celebrated today (as in, wed)...weird.

BTW, i'm totally going to use some of your eid games at sunday school. jazaks for them!

mezba said...

Eid Mubarak to u as well. Someone said it best, it's not moonsighting, it's

Keep us updated on the eid games.

- Mezba.

Safiyyah said...

I also pity ppl who don't celebrate Eid. It's so much fun!