Saturday, 13 July, 2024, Reg No- 06
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Nostalgic Eid memories  

Published : Saturday, 15 June, 2024 at 12:00 AM  Count : 948

Nostalgic Eid memories  

Nostalgic Eid memories  

When I look at my 12-year-old son, I see my own childhood. When I look at my father, I see my limitations. I was talking about how Qurbani Eid was during my time. My childhood memories shine like bright stars.

I was born into a respectable, middle-class Muslim family. My father has six brothers. I grew up in a joint family in Dhaka.

We are two brothers, and both of us love animals. However, we were not allowed to have pets at home. Despite this, when I was very young, I almost forcibly brought home a kitten to keep as a pet. At the time, 2-3 children from the slum, my age, were dragging the kitten with a rope around its neck. Feeling sorry for the kitten, I asked them for it, and they said it would cost 2 taka. It was around 1983 or 1984. I went to my mother for 2 taka to rescue the poor kitten, but I didn tell her why I needed the money. Although there was a lot of trouble with the cat when I brought it home, Amma eventually accepted it.

Similarly, last year we visited my uncles grave at the graveyard, accompanied by my two children. We found a kitten there, and the children were enthusiastic about bringing it home, so I couldn refuse. Now, the kitten lives with us, and weve named it Tuntun.

As two brothers, we always looked forward to Eid-ul-Adha more than Eid-ul-Fitr. The streets were filled with cows and goats. Older boys from the neighborhood would take their animals for a stroll in the afternoon, and we would follow behind them. We tried everything to feed the sacrificial animals, like jackfruit leaves, mango leaves, hay, and more. The days leading up to Eid seemed to fly by. I remember crying a lot after the animals were sacrificed. So do my daughter and son. They even give name to the sacrificial animal that belongs to them.

As I got older, I used to plead with my father to take us to the cattle market, even though it was far from starting date.

As we grew older, my brother and I would go to the designated cattle market area. We would spend hours sitting and observing everything there. Every day, two of us would visit the market. From the moment the first cow arrived, I would urge my father to consider buying one.

During those days, middle-class families often purchased cows with 1 to 7 shareholders for Eid. The number of shareholders couldn exceed 7 for a cow. Wealthier families in the upper middle class typically bought cows without any shareholders.
Once we owned our animal, we would wander around the neighborhood, comparing sizes with others who had bought cows. Despite the joy of Eid, those of us who were passionate about cows and goats couldn help but feel a bit melancholic.

As I grew older, my family became able to afford our own cow. Whether big or small, the joy was immense.

Now that Im much older and have a family of my own, I often feel I can shoulder responsibilities like my father did. Eid-ul-Azha is approaching, and my son eagerly asks every day, "Baba, take me to the cattle market to see the big bulls. I want to buy a goat." He tells me, "Baba, do you know Zhulki (cousin) has already bought a beautiful goat? Hell take it for a walk this afternoon. In two days, theyll buy a cow too."

I promised, "Next Eid, well buy both a cow and a goat. Ours will be even more beautiful than theirs." He responded, "You said that last year too." I couldn find a reply. Quietly, I told myself, "Next time will be better," feeling heaviness in my chest. I managed to hide my sigh.

In my professional life, I am an employee, and since I started working, Ive always sacrificed one goat in every Qurbani Eid. Usually, I would buy it about 4-5 days before Eid to bring joy to my children and myself. However, for the past two years, I haven been able to afford one. This has deeply disappointed my children and me. They don understand the complexities of professional life, nor should they. Childhood should be free from such worries, just as mine was.

Their happiness has always revolved around their father, and much of it depends on my income. Since Covid-19, there has been a financial downturn. Meanwhile, prices for almost all daily necessities have skyrocketed beyond my reach. Electricity bills, gas bills, and other expenses have surged, while the income remains stagnant and unchanged.

My daughter is preparing for her SSC exams, and my younger child is in class 6. Its becoming increasingly difficult for me to cover their tuition fees and other expenses. The school insists on compulsory coaching classes for SSC students alongside regular classes, which comes with additional costs. Many of her classmates have started coaching, but I still can afford it.

In my childhood and youth, I fully embraced the joy of Eid. Now, its my turn to bring happiness to my parents, children, and wife, but challenges abound. My father always ensured we celebrated these festivals to the fullest, despite constraints. I marvel at how he managed everything so skillfully and magically.

My children eagerly yearn to experience Eid joy like everyone else. I used to be just like my son, but unfortunately, Im not like my father. May Eid spread happiness for all, dispel gloom from society, and fill everyones mornings with joy. Eid Mubarak to all fathers.

The writer is a senior photojournalist and a feature writer






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