The typical grandeur and fervour associated with Eid festivities has been missing ever since the pandemic hit us. But with the city getting back in the groove once again, eminent personalities reveal their plans to celebrate Eid ul-Adha this year. While some are opting for subdued, low-key get-togethers and are planning to cook traditional delights for the close ones, others are dedicating the special occasion to the extraordinary efforts of front-line workers and are coming forward to provide help and support to their staff and others in need.
Giving back to society
“The festival cannot be celebrated with same fervour as people have lost too much . Rather one should remember the purpose — love and being grateful. So, we will not celebrate but work with our staff to help those who have had any sort of problems. We are launching an initiative for children who were orphaned or those whose parents are facing financial struggles in and around the Kotwara region in UP. We will work for their mental health, job opportunities and education,” says designer-producer-author Meera Ali.
Dedicated to front-line heroes
“This Eid, I pray that God’s grace be upon all of us. We salute the doctors, nurses and front-line workers who have been working so tirelessly and selflessly. We must be responsible and celebrate Eid or any festival with the right Covid-19 protocols and work for a better tomorrow. Therefore, things will be intimate for us as a family and on Eid, I pray even more strongly so that God may bestow peace, healthy and unity upon this earth, which is in turbulence,” says sarod maestro Ayaan Ali Bangash.
Hoping for better days
“I recovered from severe Covid-19 in the second wave. For people like us, who have experienced a close brush with mortality, any festival comes with guilt. During the last three Eids in the pandemic, not a soul showed up,” says author Rakhshanda Jalil. She remembers the old times and says, “Now the postal services are less but in earlier times, daak used to turn up, and we used to always keep aside gifts or an envelope to give on Eid. But now, things have changed. Last year, we didn’t prepare large quantities of food but this time, I will prepare and keep things ready on the table, just in case someone shows up.”
A moment of thanksgiving
“When I was growing up, kaleji would be made for breakfast and raan for lunch. [But], celebrations are subdued this year because of the pandemic and considering the tragic loss [of lives]. We are not doing anything special apart from the customary religious rituals. There will be cooking, of course, as it’s a moment of thanksgiving. I will cook a few dishes in the spirit of thanking God,” says historian Rana Safvi.
Traditional seviyaan and biryani are a must
“I like intimate gatherings way more than large parties. Thanks to the pandemic, we are forced to meet only a few people at a time. So this year, it will just be family and maybe a few friends. Traditional seviyaan and biryani are a must. I’m looking forward to a quiet Eid celebration with the loved ones,” says designer Nida Mahmood.
Special feasts, feeding the poor
“Eid will be celebrated at home with some relatives. And since we are known to make lavish feasts, we will be making the dishes that we generally don’t make throughout the year — we will be preparing raan. Also, around 100 meals will be distributed,” says chef Osama Jalali.