Paying attention to the details of Eid in a pandemic situation

Sun Online Desk

22nd May, 2020 11:33:50 printer

Paying attention to the details of Eid in a pandemic situation

I was six or seven then, I remember I was playing with a small makeup brush at my Bandhobi Nanu's place (My nana's sister) at Nanu's Dhanmondi 19th house my mother often went in the afternoons. Little me, sitting on a chair beside a big window, and gotten that brush from the side table, kept in a pinkish rouge box under a softly glowing lamp. Honestly, I got a little scared when nanu approached! But, too my surprise, wearing a bright smile she asked me "Tomar eta pochondo?," with my approval nod she said "tumi eta niye jao, amr kotha mone raikho je ami tomar bandhobi nanu chilam." No surprise, I still have that brush and all these came as a flashback when I was cleaning my brush sets lately.

I was de-cluttering all my accessories lately. Starting with my cosmetic bag as I said, was also cleaning my other little stuffs, went on brushing my watches and suddenly remembered that these were my favourites! I looked at each of my watches and reflected I did not ever step out from home without wearing any of these. Behind owning each of them, there is a fragmented short story attached. Thus, each of them are special to me in its own way. Until the Covid-19 days, I never thought all my accessories would suddenly become meaningless and stand still for months on the shelf as long as I am living, to be honest.

This time of the year, onwards from 27th Ramadan, we usually start our Eid holiday that begins with greeting "Eid Mubarak" to our colleagues. Coming from Dhaka, also as my husband's family is entirely in Dhaka, we never have to go anywhere to celebrate Eid. However, on the last day at work, I always asked my colleagues where they were going to spend their Eid, seen their struggles for getting tickets, wished them luck and a happy journey also a happy Eid, followed by "see you after the vacation" phrase. Left office seeing the support staff re-checking every appliances before they too leave for a much awaited vacation. For the ongoing lockdown, all these seem as a memory only, so distant that it feels like a lifetime now.

The last working day was also special for another reason. No matter how busy my husband remains in the entire year, that day, he gets to leave early and together, unlike the whole year, we make a crash to the groceries shop! We give a revision our goodies list, we rush from one store to another, we make our crazy visits to Kawran Bazar and by the time I start planning for the grand Eid dinner at our place. I even make a list of the menu in google's keep, save recipes on the go, and then at the last moment, I realise I need some little things more!

Married at a young age, I have actually learned basic cooking from my Grandma-in-law. I have seen my mami shashuris, who have a great skill of cooking and presenting food in luscious way. Still very lucky to have my mom beside me who taught me cooking at my little kitchen I own now.  However, whether I could cook or not, my husband and I have always hosted Eid dinners for our very loving family. We grew up, started inviting more people to our humble abode. My mother always says, "people don't visit everyone's house, you are lucky that people love you and they feel like coming to your house again and again."

This year, too, I want to feel the Eid like I do in the other years. However, deep inside, I only feel lucky to be able to still be alive and healthy. Still very lucky that all my favorite people answer to my calls, replies to my messages and are safe and sound amid the ongoing pandemic. In the other years, when I distributed my Zakats, although scanty in size, I felt a little satisfied that I could help some families celebrating Eid, to be honest. This year, all I feel is scared, I feel so little that my amount of donation might help some people buy food only for a few days, but what will happen to them next?

This realization of how little we are, and how meager we need for living pushed me into this dilemma. Do we really need all the things we claim as "necessity"? If not, then isn’t it in the small details of our life that we pass on our memory to the next generation, as I was recalling in the beginning? I don’t have an answer now. Not sure when will I be able to figure this out. But, I really hope that this change in me remains intact even after the Pandemic.