BHOPAL: Bhopalis celebrated Eid-ul-Azha with gaiety after a gap of nearly two years on Wednesday.
It was the first such festival as was celebrated in the city after the horrid days of the pandemic. The citizens also prayed to the Almighty to keep everyone safe from a possible third wave of the coronavirus.
The restrictions on gatherings in mosques are still in force. Yet, the markets are open, and people can move freely. Most people offered Namaz wearing new clothes and the sacrificed goats at their homes. They welcomed guests who wore visors and served delicious cuisines like Kaleji Biryani, Kebabs and Sevaiyan. Umbrella and exercise balls were given to children as gifts.
Architect S M Husain says he woke up early and offered Namaz at 6.30am with family members at his Mubarak Home. He has especially invited an Aalim from Roorkee who led the Namaz at his place. They prayed to the Almighty to protect people from a possible third wave of the pandemic.
They sacrificed goat at 7.30am. Kaleji was served for the breakfast and Gosht and Roti for the lunch. “My phone is flooded with greetings. After a long time, we celebrated any festival with family members and friends,” he says.
Instead of money, he gave umbrellas and exercise balls to children as gifts to keep them away from the virus. “If we give money they will to go to market and buy something, and, in the process, they may get infected. So we decided to gift exercise balls which will help them strengthen their immunity,” Husain says.
Director of Madhya Pradesh Urdu Academy, Nusrat Mehdi says fright of corona is still in the air. Yet people greeted one another. “At last, Khushi aur utsah ka sanchar to hai logon ke dilon mein… (At last, the happy days are back),” she says.
A professor in Excellence College, Sadhna Pandey, who visited home to one of her Muslim friends with her husband and daughter to greet them, says “We enjoyed a lot. We don’t miss the opportunity and wait for it. Unfortunately, Covid-19 devoured the delight of meeting people on various festivals,” Pandey says.
A retd. Colonel Bisht who lives near Airport Road, visited along with his wife to one his Muslim neighbour on eid. “My neighbour shifted here last year but we didn’t visit his home due to fear of corona infection. It is our first visit on eid. We are feeling quite good after coming here,” Bisht says.
A businessman Deepak Agrawal who lives in Indore but he especially came Bhopal to meet and greet Eid to his Muslim friend. “I didn’t meet my friend for a long time due to the pandemic. So, when I came to know that today is Eid, I didn't wish to miss the chance,” he says.