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Dua mein yaad rakhna

As I drove down from Chandigarh-the city beautiful to Mohali the other day, soulfully decorated minarets of masjids dotting the cityscape with strings of golden lights, multi-hued lanterns, crimson rose blooms and heaps of pious white Jasmines caught my attention. Jama Masjid in Sector 20 is my personal favourite; I have been there a few […]

As I drove down from Chandigarh-the city beautiful to Mohali the other day, soulfully decorated minarets of masjids dotting the cityscape with strings of golden lights, multi-hued lanterns, crimson rose blooms and heaps of pious white Jasmines caught my attention. Jama Masjid in Sector 20 is my personal favourite; I have been there a few times, once just to capture the beautiful architecture of the mosque. As I visited the masjid the other day, I stood outside soaking in the flurry of activities going on inside and outside the masjid as the notes from the aazanrecited by the muezzin floated out into the evening air. I sat in deep meditation till the evening namaz (Islamic prayer) got over and it was time for the Muslim brethren to break bread after their daylong roza (fast).

Make-shift stalls and nondescript hand-driven carts parked in front of the masjid were loaded with colourful plates holding some succulent dates and water-drenched sliced fruits in them, inviting the onlooker to take a dig from that plate of wholesomeness and love. Swirls of the holy smoke from the many-lit fragrant incense sticks spiraled out from inside the courtyard of the mosque. Hurried steps of devout Muslim men adjusting their skull caps and the womenfolk wrapping themselves pretty in shimmering duppatas headed out of the masjid and reached out for the neatly lined plates to break their fast from, just as their impatient children chugged behind them requesting their abbas and ammis for the many sweet treats tempting their taste buds from across the many rehris lined outside the masjid. The sight just tugged at my heart-strings. How wonderful a sight it was set against the backdrop of a shimmering and a dazzling masjid standing in the halo of gold and glitter as the twilight romanced the city.

The fragrance of the fresh flowers weaved into intricate floral designs/ patterns and stitched into chaddars, adorning the holy sanctum sanctorum of the masjid teleported me to a completely another realm while the aroma of some deep-fried and sizzling kebabs from one of the rehris just whiffed out and melted itself in the evening air.

Ahhh! There is something about Eid which is very sacred, spiritual and uplifting. It is not just about ending the holy month of fasting with the dawning of Eid al-Fitr but also of the cleansing of one’s heart and soul of all the maladies, corruptions and the pollutions which our soul takes on whilst walking the paths of this world. It is a celebration of the triumph of our goodwill over the negativity prevailing in this world as it stands today.

Eid is a festival celebrating love, togetherness, our inner strengths and resilience, family bondings and cherishing friends over shared meals during iftars, all through the month spent richly drenched in prayers and silent conversations with Allah. It is a culmination of a month spent in self-reflection and of rejoicing in the coming home to our souls after washing off all our impurities by rigorous fasting from sunrise to sundown for a month.
Like this festival celebrating the revealing of the quran to Prophet Muhammad, Eid also signifies the revealing of our own truth and light to us. This time of the year which brings in Eid in our lives, calls not just for sumptuous feastings but also for each one of us to shed our inhibitions, worldly-trappings and worn-out skins to reveal out our sparkling and polished inner beings to walk the paths of our highest good and integrity.

It also calls out for us to soak in our collective consciousness and think of our lesser-privileged brethren around us. Let’s pack an extra lunch while out in the city and hand it over to a starving soul, how about brewing some broth from the left over stock of our biryanis from last night for that stray dog who waits for us to return home every day? Let’s stock up our cars with toffees and biscuits for the needy. How about hopping off our cars at random traffic signals when we spot someone in need and handing over some moolah in their hands as Eidi this time. We can also gift mithai to our neighborhood dhobhis, gatekeepers, tailors and street vendors. Well, I have someone in my mind that I am going to give my Eidi to. Have you thought about yours?

Another integral part of celebrating Eid is to do it with a clean heart by seeking forgiveness from those whom we may have wronged in our daily dealings and sending out forgiveness to anyone who has wronged us and left a wound to fester there for long now. Let go of something which you may be holding in your heart in vain. This Eid it is time to clean our slates of life from any malice or hatred being harbored there for anyone. And this is just the right way to tap into the true meaning and essence of Eid.

Wishing you all a very blessed Eid. Eid

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