"magar mujko lottadho bhajpan ka saavan, vo kaagazi ki kashtti, vo baarsih ka paani.."
Really suitable to my current situation. By sitting far away from my home, family and my childhood I am preparing to celebrate an Eid. Is it still full of colours, emotions, and happiness? I fear NO. The Eid with beautiful colours, and with yummy taste and smell of biriyani and the payasam, with nostalgic fragrance of mehandi and new dresses and the with full of happiness walked away from me, or I walked away from that. An Eid with no colour to make it as a special one but full of beautiful memory.
I used to have beautiful Eids, both Eidul Fithar and Bakrid during my childhood just like everyone had... Eid in bappa's home, our 'tharavaadu'(തറവാട്). Around 4.30 am, umma would awake us for a 'perunnal kuli' (പെരുന്നാള് കുളി), or a special bath for the day. Though I used to hate the process of oiling my body, on that special day I would give all freedom to my mom to for oiling my body. Mma, I am missing that very badly. While we three (my siblings) stand like statues with oiled body, waiting for the bath, my mma would make payasam, and other special foods for the day... We used to have 'cherupayar payasam' ( ചെറുപയര് പായസം), I don't know whose favorite it was, but gradually it became my favorite too, and my home's favorite too. I think mma is an expert in making it ...
The walk to the river and the bath in the chilling water of the chaliyar (ചാലിയാര്) was the next awaiting process.We used to forgive uppa and mma for compelling us to have a bath in such a cold river in the early morning, because it was Eid. Mma used to say that, that bath is special as it is a sunnath ( reward able from the almighty). I never saw 'perumkadavu' (പെരുംകടവ്) as beautiful as it was, before or after that. I never saw such a sleeping river before or after that. I never felt such a chilling experience before or after that. Really, that family bath had its all magical power. I walked away from that too,a long way ahead. Still I am missing it badly. Now the perumkadavu is dead. Nobody is going there to take a bath except to take its sand...she lost her beauty forever...
Then comes, the most awaited moments, dressing for the day. We used to get new dress only once in a year. my parents were not so rich to buy more than one dress in a year. it would let them out from their strict budget. So, that would became much celebrated, and awaited moment. Even the shopping was also celebrated as we were getting only one chance to visit the cloth marts in a year. We used to buy cloths which comes fit their budget; the dress, the bangles, and other accessories. wow!!!, It was beautiful. You really don't have an idea that how much I am missing that too. The fragrance of the new dresses. We were cautious about out new dress in order to persist the fragrance till the bakrid, as we have to wear it the same dress in that eid too. May be because of that, I felt bakrid as a dull eid among the two. no new cloths, no accessories, no fasting too. Instead an eid coming to the scene suddenly..
Mehandi designing, such a grand function it is. We used to wander for fresh mehandi leaves from house to house. The more fresh the leaves are, the more red the designs will be. So it was so necessary to get fresh leaves. Along with my sister, I used to wander for the fresh mehandi leaves and it was my mma who helped us to make it as paste format. Then again we would search for somebody who could help us to design something beautiful in our hand. The mehandi designing is an art which can only be done by those who is really an expert in it. It’s really a tough task to design it without so called 'mehandi cones'. Mehandi cones were not born at that time. So we used to design it in a traditional way by using a small narrow stick( ഈര്ക്കിലി), but the smell of the Mehandi paste, GOD, am still getting it!!!!!. We would get beautiful red designs in our palm once the paste got dried. Then our palm would also smell, such a crazy sensations are they!!! Your beautiful palm with the beautiful smell and colour would make you mad, I am sure. We used to put mehandi repeatedly on the same design to make it darker red. The excited night and the curious morning of the Eid. Oh, God I am missing everything..
Yesterday, I bought a mehandi cone from Chemboor Street and am designing it in my hand by sitting alone. I am sure that my design will be prettier than the old one and darker too. But there is no excitement and curiosity.. I am missing everything, the pretty red and beautiful smell and curiosity and excitement everything. I can only smell it in my memory, feel it in my memory.....
I asked many people here, whether there is any eid gaah (ഈദു ഗാഹ്) for women too? But the answer was obvious NO, as society is thinking women should celebrate eid in the home only, more specifically in kitchen only. There is no space for them to have eid prayer as prophet Muhammad instructed. I had two eids without eidgaah while I was in Ranchi, but I never felt them as Eids nor I counted them as Eid. Again I am going to celebrate one more Eid without Eid ghah. Eid ghah or open prayer space is an occasion in which we meet everybody and greet each other. As a child I used to wait for that occasion. We would be so excited to show our new dress and mehandi to others and we children would judge the beauty of the dress and design each other. I often feel that, the red colour of the mehandi was the colour of our happiness. That happiness would reflect in our face too. Kash my childhood visited me again..!!
It was not biriyani which was served in our table on the day of Eid. We were not rich enough to make a biriyani. Mma used to prepare coconut rise (തേങ്ങാ ചോറ്) , dhal, beef and pappad!. Bappa used to feed us. I lost him too. Now biriyani is there in our daily menu. It is no more a guest on our table and it lost all its excitement and specialty.
we used to visit each and every houses nearby, friend's, neighbour's and relative's, and fill our stomach with payasam. Actually it was not the payasam which fill our stomach, but love and happiness of the serving one. Who will feed me payasam on this Eid with lot and lots of love in it?
After my post graduation, I lost all colors of my Eid. I realized that I am grown enough and society compelled me to do many things. Marriage was one among them. When I got married I fail to take my colour of celebration along with me to my in laws or I was not allowed to do so. I left all the beauty of it in my home along with my childhood. After that Eid became so strange to me. As every married women, I was compelled to celebrate it without much colours, without my beloved mma, and ppa and siblings. I began to hate the day. I used to think why does society steal everything from women? Why does society deny her happiness too? Society never understood the feelings of women!!! She is not allowed to celebrate the festival as she wants. Damn culture and customs!. I just hate you for this.
I was forced to walk away from my parents, home, siblings, and my childhood too. I don't know when will the culture and customs steal my soul of happiness also from me?
I will be celebrating this Eid in Mumbai, a strange, big, metropolitan city. With all these memory I will try hard to celebrate it alone and to make it as a special day. I miss you mma, ppa, nadu, naseef, and ikka......I miss you badly..