Remembrance of Eids past

Arafat Mohammad Noman takes a trip down memory lane

RemembranceThe saying ‘don’t grow up, it’s a trap’ has been remarkably visible for the last few years. With maturity being the dominant tag, life squeezes the fun out of your Eid bliss- the bliss that has been gifted by the ignorance during your childhood. I sometimes feel like requesting Doc Brown from the movie Back to the Future to lend me his car so that I can take a detour to my days of Cox’s Bazar.
The blend of wintry indolence along with the elders’ prompting of catching the Sehri was way more tempting than today’s fasting with sweltering heat and responsibility. That life was a carefree one. I can still remember a chilling Eid morning when the two of us cousins did not wait for the lukewarm water and dived vehemently into the nearest pond only to discover ourselves in the bone-chilling water. The aftermath was a massive bashing and yet it was quite an adventure for two fourth-graders!
I always waited for the last couple of days of the Ramadan; that was the time when my Eid happiness nearly doubled. My father, being a government officer, had his postings far away from Cox’s Bazar. He visited us only two times a year. I used to wait eagerly for that tincture of evening light because that was the time when the four stroke-three wheelers came to a stop at our premises with my father coming down with a black briefcase. He always had to ask if I was fasting and I always complained to him about my mother for not permitting me to fast. We had a joint family then; the Sehri was full of festivity with noises in the kitchen. The sizzling sound of the fried shrimps and seafood tossed my appetite from one bowl to another.
The Chaand Raat aura was another cherished night. All the other cousins from Dhaka and Chittagong would already nestle at Cox’s Bazar and we used to pass the Chaand Raat roaming around houses with Roman candles and firecrackers. Ah! Those were the days of idyllic ignorance!
The scenario has changed with our maturity and responsibility. As time passes, traditions change. People begin to celebrate differently. There are modifications in the ways of greeting, dressing and socialising. For the last couple of years, Eid has become more a virtual thing than a real gesture. All I see are people lamenting on Facebook about how they miss their old self and how the colours of Eid have faded away. The urbanites have become more concentrated in finding Chaand Raat happiness with movies, shopping and cellphones.
People have become more an individual island. The Eid essence from childhood is only demarcated in rejuvenating a sense of loss. The most fascinating yet excruciating fact is people feel themselves to be lonely even if they are surrounded by kith and kin. I suppose this is a psychological void germinated by the uber responsibilities of livelihood. Though we are financially solvent now we cannot have that fulfilment of collecting Salamis when we were kids. I so wish people had the same shared portion of constant happiness which never fades with the wave of time. I so want the grown-up us to have a corner in our heart left for those childhood frivolity. Sigh! The technological advancement makes us solvent but it also made our emotions so restless that nobody can stay tuned with the happiness of others for long.