Well the 9/11 is almost over – isn’t it?
Yes, it is finally over. The Eid ul Fitr that we celebrated on 9/11 (lest you thought of something else). The first half of the day was spent in the usual rituals and the later half till evening was consumed in sleeping. The last part in the evening was a bit social with friends and relatives coming in and we going out.
But there wasn’t any fun. I remember the days when we were kids and the Eid day used to be a day full of celebrations. A day prior to the Eid, we used to polish and still re-polish the newly bought shoes and make them shine like mirror and would hardly sleep due to excitement of the following day. On the Eid day, we all five brothers would board a Lahore Omnibus Service, a beautiful efficient service that succumbed to mismanagement and later closed, to Shalamar Gardens for Eid prayers. Although we had mosques closer to our home, but we would go to Shalamar Bagh for a little fun besides the ritual offering.
An Eidi of one rupee used to be a fortune. A bottle of Canada Dry, the drink is long gone now, but during those days, it was very much in. The bottle cost six anas and we still had ten anas more to eat junk food or even buy some sweets and chocolates. A rupee then had 16 anas, which later became a hundred paisa. We would be visited by both our maternal and paternal families, since our father was the eldest. And our house used to be crowned with cousins and elders. Our mother would cook many dishes for the lunch and the dinner and the day would be spent in fun and laughter. And above all, more Eidi pouring in from the uncles.
But now times have changed. The number of relatives have reduced. Our children feel more comfortable sending SMSs and e-mails from their mobile phones and laptops and chatting with near and distant friends and cousins rather than going out to meet them. Now the postman no more delivers tons of Eid Cards, telegrams (which used to be specially issued for Eid greetings with colourful pages).
Perhaps, this is how things change over a period of time. Now it seems technology has over taken sentiment expression in person. Children today are more mature than we were and do not waste time in visiting market places and bazaars as we did to see other children dressed equally as we and making merry. Now making merry is all contained either in a mobile phone or a laptop.
And one thing more has changed too. Me!! I have grown up children as my father had us. And quite naturally I cannot go out holding a one rupee note to buy a Canada Dry, as now neither there is Canada Dry nor a rupee fetches anything anymore. Even a beggar on Eid day takes the one rupee coin with a No-Thank-You gesture. The only thing that remains is the nostalgia of the good old days. One thing more: there was no 9/11 then.
Get ready for the office tomorrow.