The corona pandemic has taken the sheen off Eid this year. Earlier, it has devoured the joy of Holi. Community prayer, greeting with hugs and handshake, social congregation and dining would not be a part of the Eid this year, all because of a virus. The Eid festivities will remain a low key affair with lockdown in force and more importantly to keep at bay the virus.

The Muslims have decided to celebrate the festival in a simple manner. They have to maintain social distancing to check the pandemic. So they cannot embrace each other. Besides that, it is happening for the time that, men and women will together offer Namaz at home.

Free Press talked to some of the Muslim families in Bhopal to know how they plan to celebrate the festival. This time there is no shopping for new clothes or decoration artefacts, said the community women who were so eagerly waiting for the festival to come. We will prepare traditional dishes, but in lesser quantity as no guests would be coming, they said, adding that they greet relatives and friends on phone and through social media. Some of them will recite Namaz through Zoom App. Excerpts:

S M Hussain, architect

SM Husain said this year they will celebrate Eid with simplicity with family comprising 25 members. We will offer Namaz at home maintaining physical distancing, said Hussain, adding that this is for the first time that women and men will offer Namaz on Eid together at home. He said that his children and grandchildren who live in Pune, Saudi Arab and America used to come on Eid every year but this year they couldn’t come due to Covid-19. But they will also take part in all rituals and activities through video call. Some traditional dishes like vermicelli, sheer-Khurma and vermicelli with Muzafir will be cooked but guests are not invited. Also, he distributes some packets of vermicelli, milk and gifts to needy people who live near his house every year on the day. He said that every year he used to be busy with guests on the day but this year he would spend quality time with family members.

Nusrat Mehdi, director, Happiness Department

Nusrat Mehdi said the feeling of excitement and happiness has disappeared somewhere. It is very painful that a lot of people are suffering and getting homeless due to Covid-19. Eid is a big festival for Muslim but this year they will celebrate it as a customary, she said. They will greet relatives and friends on phone or through social media because they can’t meet. She said that most of people in the family are shayars. So they have decided that they will recite their nazm through zoom App on Eid. “And we will also pray to get rid from the problem. Jab pura desh shukun ki saans lega tab hum Eid manayenge…,” Nusrat said.

Mumtaz Khan, fashion designer

Mumtaz Khan said that current situation is very sad and unfortunate. It is also depressing because the whole world is suffering because of the pandemic. We had never ever thought that we will celebrate Eid without going out and community namaz, he added. “So, it is very unusual and unfortunate that we are facing such situation but at the same time it has a good aspect as some people are helping needy from the money which they used to spend on new clothes and thus bringing happiness in their family,” he said. He said that it is rule in Ramzan to help poor. Eid is also associated with Edi and people used to give Edi to all irrespective of age, he informed. It is also very important whether you get Rs 10 or Rs 100. “Everybody will miss Edi which is blessing for us by elders. That is different kind feeling and it happens once in a year,” Mumtaz said.

Afshan Afsar, teacher

Afshan Afsar said that that people’s problem during COVID-19 has disturbed her. She along with her 16- member family is busy in distributing food packets and ration to needy since the lockdown started, informed Afshan. They have also distributed ration includes vermicelli, ghee and dry fruits to those Muslim families who can’t afford it. She said that they will celebrate Eid in a very simple manner, no decoration and no new clothes. They will cook some dishes like vermicelli, chhole, kabab and biryani but its quantity will be less because guests will not be coming. She said that they are missing ‘Raunak’(charm) of Eid this year.

(To receive our E-paper on whatsapp daily, please click here. We permit sharing of the paper's PDF on WhatsApp and other social media platforms.)

Free Press Journal