MULTAN: While Eid-ul-Fitr is around the corner and markets are abuzz with the buyers for shopping and it is gaining momentum with each passing day of Ramazan, it will reach its peak on Chand Raat, the night on which crescent is sighted to celebrate Eid on first of Islamic month of Shabaan the next day.

All and Sundry especially women, kids, girls and boys throng the bazaars for purchasing clothes, shoes, jewellery, glasses, watches, mehndi and a lot more.

Popularly known as “Meethi Eid” or “ Chhoti Eid”, Eid-ul- Fitr is associated with sweet delicacies or desserts , greeting cards, mehndi, bangles and Eidi, the money disbursed among kids, girls, boys and the poor by the elders.

But now gone are the days when people used to start buying Eid Cards to share the joys of the upcoming Eid with their friends, near and dear ones, students and relatives living abroad during Ramazan which have been replaced by electronic cards, SMS and other means of fast communications.

Since the beginning of holy month, public used to start shopping to refrain from rush of shoppers in the markets as the famed singer and academician Rahat Bano Multanikr said that she has fond memories of Eid in her childhood which are unforgettable till date.

“We used to wait Eid during Ramzan anxiously. Life was pure and materialism was very limited. We were given an option of a suit and a pair of shoes. Normally, we used to receive the stitched dress on ‘Chand Raat’ besides buying shoes on the same night. Our joy knew no bond. I would keep my dress and shoes near my pillow and get up several times at night to check if the shoes and dress were lying there and had sneaked away somewhere else.”

She recalled that elders would give her a bath on Eid Morning and after getting ready, she used to collect Eidi’ nani Amman, parents, relatives and went to see close neighbours too, adding that she used to keep the money carefully for spending in school and later for watching a film.

“I was very fond of receiving Eidi. Rs one as Eidi was a great amount at that time. Now, we give away Eidi. My mother Surriya Multinkr still gives me Eidi besides my brothers. I enjoy the day because we meet one another on this occasion after a year. I never felt bored on the day. It pleases me to serve others.”

Rahat noted. “Yarran Maheney Tuhadey Tey Ik Mahina Sada” was a usual inscription on a banner displayed in Bohar Gate Bazar of Multan in our childhood, reminisced Bilal Ahmed, a property dealer who is in his late 40s. He stated that they could not understand the meanings of the line, adding that after coming to age they realized the profiting of the traders who charge exorbitant rates of everything in Ramazan.

Inflation has reduced the extent of joys of Eid festivities these days. Skyrocketing prices of commodities, dresses, shoes and other items have made people empty-pocketed.

Youth used to be at the forefront browsing through the cards inscribed with Urdu or English poetry adorned with illustrations, embossed paint and fragrances. Relatives and friends at home and abroad attached great importance with the cards as they waited impatiently for these greetings to be delivered to them. However, this trend has witnessed a sharp fall in recent years.

Now, people have switched to social media gadgets to express their feelings which are actually feeling-less. In a bid to revive the forgotten tradition of Eid Cards, Pakistan Post has set up a special counter to attract citizens for dispatching the cards for greeting their relatives and friends on the festive occasion.

Chief Postmaster, Faiza Khalid Rao, informed that the cards were available with all the GPO and a special counter has been set up at Multan GPO Bangles and mehndi have been a popular festivity for girls on Eid.

Purchasing bungles matching with a dress and applying mehndi on both hands are as important for them as anything. Recollecting fond memories attached to Eid, Women University Multan Ex-Dean of Arts and Social Sciences, Dr Asmat Naz stated that she missed the manner the Eid was celebrated in her childhood.

Mozamman Ali Khawaja, who has been running a shoe shop in Multan for decades, said that the price hike has badly affected his business. New shoes were considered as important as the dress was in the past but people are not buying them now because of the high prices of kitchen items and food. He regretted that inflation has marred the festivities of even festive occasions.


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