HIGH-PROFILE PEOPLE FROM DIFFERENT WALKS OF LIFE RECOLLECT PAST MOMENTS ASSOCIATED WITH THE FESTIVAL

by ASJAD NAZIR

Eid is a memorable and special time for Muslims around the world and families celebrate the end of the holy month of fasting with loved ones.

The memories associated with Eid remain with a person for their lifetime. So to celebrate the occasion, Eastern Eye spoke to some high-profile people to share their memories of Eid.

Soraya Sikander (Artist): Since I can remember, Eid has been a special, memorable occasion that brings family members together. I particularly enjoy the light and colours of Eid, the exquisite cuisines, new Eid dresses and cheeky teenagers asking for Eidi (money/gift). A particularly memorable Eid for me was last year when I visited the SOS Children’s Village in Lahore and gave the kids Eid gifts and art materials. I was told I made their Eid extra special, but it was the other way around as they made mine special.

Mumzy Stranger (Singer & songwriter): The most memorable Eid memory for me was going to prayer with my father and siblings to the East London Mosque when I was young                                                                                                
Gauahar Khan (Actress & TV personality): I love celebrating Eid. It’s the high point after a month of resilience. I remember, as a kid we used to live in Pune (a city in Maharashtra), but my mom would take me to Mumbai for Eid shopping. Matching bangles were a must. Also, a new purse/wallet to collect all the Eidi. Even if it was the crispy two rupee notes. (Laughs). I would guard my wallet with all my strength. Eating naan bread with sheer-khurma is my favourite thing to do first thing in the morning on Eid. May this Eid be a blessed one for everyone.

Imran Abbas (Actor): I was shooting in New York and had to fly to another state that had my connection to London. Unfortunately, my first flight got delayed and I missed my connection, so was stuck between transits and connection for two days of Eid. For the first time, I felt so aloof and deprived of those sweet little festivities we have during Eid days. I had no one to hug and no one to receive Eidi from. Definitely, being with your loved ones on Eid day is a blessing.

Annie Khalid (Singer): A memorable Eid memory for me was waking up every morning as kids, when my brothers and dad had come back from Eid namaz. We would hug each other and wish Eid Mubarak and then eat sawaiyan. This tradition lives on even today.

Kamiar Rokni (Fashion designer): The best part of Eid is spending time with family. There’s no experience that I can particularly recall. But as a child, the feeling of excitement when looking forward to the next day, which was Eid, remains so memorable.

Saad Hayat (Music producer & singer): The Eidi collection excitement in the childhood days and feeling rich for the days to come. And always being late for namaz, to date.

Nadia Ali (Radio & TV host): One of my most memorable Eid was celebrating Eid Ul Adha in Bangladesh with my family. It was an amazing experience, starting from traditions, the colourful clothes and the tons of gifts I received, but it was also a time when I learned how fortunate I was. That Eid, my dad took me for a walk down the road and asked me to share my gifts with the street children. I did it without any hesitation. I was lucky to have the life I had and my parents by my side – every Eid I remember this story and count my blessings.

Rehan Nazim (Musician, singer & actor): Eid, for me, is all about family. As far as I remember, I don’t think I’ve ever spent an Eid away from family. I, along with my parents, usually visit family, friends and relatives who we don’t meet often. It’s always nice to catch up. (Laughs). My favourite Eid memory as a kid was when I once collected Eidi worth 13,000 rupees. I still remember how excited I was. Those were the days.

Omair Rana (Actor & director): The first ever Eid prayer with my brother, nephews and my son. It is memorable not just because of the significance of the prayer but also for the humorous part of it being held at a boat club hall where we were on what is otherwise a dance floor.

Aida Khan (International chef & restaurateur): In Pakistan, waking up at the crack of dawn on Eid day. The men in the family headed off to Eid prayers, while the ladies and children got ready and prepped Eid breakfast. Sleeping in was never an option. I can still remember the scents of the sheer khorma, hara masala omelette, paratha and shami kebab feast that marked the start of Eid celebrations. Our dining table was laid out through the day with family and friends dropping in constantly. In London, I have tried to keep the tradition alive for our kids. But since Eid is not a public holiday here, we improvise and have all our family and friends over for tea in the afternoon, with all the traditional Eid treats.

Abubakar Khan (Radio host): Ah, Eid, the most wonderful time of the year for Muslims globally. Like clockwork, Eid would come and go as a part of my yearly routine. I’d begin the day waking up early, taking a shower and making sure my nicest outfit is on point for Eid prayers. At the end of that day, my pockets were stuffed with cash presents from relatives and I had a bloated tummy because of all the food I devoured. Year in, year out, rinse and repeat. For 22 years, I truly believed I had figured out Eid. Then 2016 Eid, when I was shown the opposite end of the spectrum, where I was shown the duality of extreme happiness and extreme despair within a few hours. That Eid that my cousin passed away.
Perhaps god was trying to teach me a lesson. That even in happiness there can be despair? That, no matter what, every soul shall taste death? Or maybe an abrupt reminder to not take anyone for granted? Since that fateful day, Eid has never been the same. Yes, I still wear my best outfit for the Eid prayer, receive the occasional dollar bill from relatives, and binge on many delicacies. But once the prayer and the celebratory bear hugs have ended, I quietly slip away to the cemetery to celebrate Eid with my cousin.

Mehreen Syed (Actress & model): A memorable Eid memory for me would be when I was a young girl growing up and our families would get together either at my house or one of my aunts or uncles houses to celebrate together. It was really special to me because I enjoyed dressing up, even to this day I do. Also, I loved seeing my cousins and hanging out with them, but the best part was the Eidi. (Laughs). I was blessed to have a big family so automatically that means more Eidi. So yes, that was my memorable Eid memory.