Eid And Childhood Longing

(MENAFN- Kashmir Observer)
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By Mushtaq Hurra

Eid is synonymous with euphoria, austerity, fervor and gaiety. Though children are more enthusiastic about the festivity, yet elders too yearn to enjoy and relish on the special day.


Longing for Eid is probably one of the sweetest yearnings children across the Muslim world have. They get their favourite outfits purchased prior to the big and auspicious
eve. New attires, delicious cuisines, saccharine pastries, yummy cakes, Eidee from parents and other elders, would often add butterflies to their stomachs . Toy guns, rattles, whistles, dolls, low priced and low intensity firecrackers, hanging from shop perches, allure and enchant the children to buy their favorite items.

The day liberates children from the shackles of homework and school assignments though for not more than a couple of days. Exhilaration touches the pinnacle of vibrancy in young children who tend to forget everything to the glee of Eid. I, my siblings and my pals used to make most of the day, by indulging in different local games like hopscotch, hide and seek and tipcat on Eid days. Playing the local games with the other children of our village was probably my chief amusement on the day of Eid. Children celebrate things in their own ways, they are unpretentious and free from show-off and boasting.

I don't know if kings are really insouciant, nonchalant and untroubled, but children are undoubtedly the most carefree creatures on the planet who don't mind having nothing in their pockets, to be called riches. They gauge richness in terms of joys, not in terms of bank balances, size of house and brand of car. A ten rupee coin in a pocket is worth millions of dollars for a child. Though it can not buy him anything more than a biscuit pack or a couple of candies, it can buy him abundant joys which the wealthy will fail to purchase, at the cost of their riches and precious assets. Childhood is the kingdom which crowns us as kings, but without a throne. I wish I could again become that crown-less king, but alas ! It is impracticable and illogical to think so. We lose the kingdom of childhood to our adulthood. Greed, avarice, jealousy, pride, ego and bragging like
vices enslave us, once we become adults. Had it been possible to live with childhood throughout our lives, there would have been children and only children around us, and no adults.

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Children hardly care about anything except their ordinary toys and other things of amusement. Empty cauldrons on the chulhas in their homes would hardly make any difference to them. They need food to satiate their hunger, not the savory cuisines to please their taste buds. A meal of rajma and rice or a veg curry would suffice their needs. But, they will never compromise playing with their friends and toys. Children are the ambassadors of enjoyment, amusement and recreation. And beauty of this stage of life is that money has a meager role in pleasure derivation and merry making. I distinctly remember making toys out of mud during my childhood days, as my father was not in a position to buy all those toys for me and my siblings from the market. Striking soft balls of mud against hard surfaces to let it burst with a bang, and the opponent was supposed to fill that void from his own share of mud. Playing marbles with friends would give unimaginable blithe to us, and an indigenously made pouch, containing colorful marbles, was something worth gold and silver.

During this period of selflessness and innocence, we leave behind a treasure trove of memories.
We create wonderful memories during our
childhood, and cherish them for the rest of our lives.
After growing up, at certain occasions, the canvas of this treasure-house gets scratched, and a scintillating firework of pearls of reminiscences is sparkled all around. Certain incidents land us deep into lanes and by-lanes of our childhood. Eid is one such occasion when we become extremely nostalgic. Looking at gleeful, jolly and jocund children, wearing kaleidoscopic outfits, playing with different toys, rides us deep down into our memory lanes. I too, like other children, have prized memories of my childhood. Though there weren't any precious toys in my collection, it was my mini empire, which I loved a lot.

Rattles, whistles, dolls, cars and balloons were common things of attraction for children on Eid. But, all these things would hardly make any appeal to me. If any toy had been enticing me, it was a black-coloured toy gun, hanging from the wooden ceiling of the only shop of our mohalla. The toy-gun is still swaying before my eyes, though some thirty years have passed since then. I vividly remember purchasing that toy gun used to be my solitary ambition on Eid. I hardly remember if I have ever been obstinate about new clothes on Eid, but that toy-gun was my chief desire, its presence would fascinate me, and would entice me anytime.
Having that dummy pistol under my belt, would probably give me a great feeling of royal class. I don't know if my lineage meets some monarch or not. Well, the number of dishes and cuisines cooked in my home would hardly make any difference to me. But, that dud gun was my dearest possession, and I could have gone to any extent to safeguard it. Keeping that gun would often invite my father's wrath and rage, because he hated firearms. So, it was quite a daring task for me to be ambitious about the toy-gun.

One Eid, my toy-gun went missing. Mountains of grief and sorrow befell me. I began to cry violently. I wanted my gun back at any cost. I could have hired Interpol to investigate the theft of my gun, and the best sniffer dogs of the world to trace it. But, it was beyond my reach. I created ruckus and rumpus in my home. My parents, my late Nani and my siblings launched a massive manhunt to trace my toy-gun. For it was not less than the famous Kohinoor diamond for me. Unfortunately, to my utter dismay, the mystery of the theft is yet to be resolved, and I am still awaiting justice. The toy-gun disappeared as if it had been taken away by aliens to a strange planet. The incident is as fresh as daisy on the canvas of my reminiscences, though three decades have passed since then. I still suspect my younger brother to have stolen it. Though I didn't accuse him openly, I still held him responsible for that misadventure. May someone ask him if he has hidden it like inspector Amar ( from the famous Bollywood movie – Amar Akbar Anthony ) had hidden his toy-gun in the backyard of his house.

  • The author is a Teacher and a Columnist. He can be reached at [email protected]


Kashmir Observer

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