Friday, October 27, 2006


Eid? What Eid?

Stiff upper lip, son. Chop Chop, suck it in and stick it out. No one ever said it would be easy...
And no one ever said it would be so hard...

It is though. Somewhere between excruciating and unbearable. But the upper lip is stiff as it can be, and i'm sticking to IT like velcro. What IT isthough, is anybody's guess.
IT isn't for instance, Dad's old shirts. Or his huge collection of classy pens. IT isn't his beloved watches; a minor, tear stained fight broke out over the Cartier, turns out all the sisters want it equally. I had my dibs on the Omega all along and he gave it to me for graduation anyway, so i just looked at the sorry bunch slugging it out at an emotional level over who gets to keep it. They figured out a time table in the end, sharing is caring after all.
IT isn't his spot on the couch in the drawing room that he used to dole out our eidis from. He'd make us do stupid indian movie stuff, like touch his feet and shower him with praise like obedient god-fearing kids. He loved watching us squirm but you know, he only ever expected this from us twice an year, the rest of the time we were treated as much like equals as was possible for him. I sat in that spot when the guests started pouring in without missing a beat. I had refused to even look at that spot all through Ramzan because of what it signified. And if it wasn't for a wonderful Samosa stuffed with kindness and understanding i don't think i would've been able to pull it off.
IT isn't our customs or our rituals that Dad abhorred but went along with anyway just to avoid confrontation. I'm abandoning it all now, slowly, steadily because i saw dad's disdain at the wasteful weddings he had to throw for his daughters or when he got invited to a Qul, he always believed that there was no room for rituals in faith, except for hindus and i concurred whole heartedly and eventhough because of his stature in the family and his nature, he acquiesced to the demands of society, i have my age and 'amreekan' exposure at my behest to launch my crusades from.
It isn't Eid, even. What's there to celeberate anyway? Eid to me, to us, has never been about the communal spirit of the Muslim Ummah, or about inculcating brotherhood, its simply been about going to the mosque in teh morning with dad, and looking up all teh numbers in his PDA to call after wards. It's been about touching his feet and watching him snicker like a ten year old girl at our discomfort. It's been about Hugging dad. Its been about being his side kick for the whole day. Its about being introduced to all teh guests who came over as 'My Son, Sajjad Khan.' It's been about blushing with the pride in his voice everytime. Eid really isn't much of anything without Family. And though Dad is survived by 5 precocious, insane children and a wife, dad himself was the ether that held us all together. Not that we're falling apart now or at each other's throats over the leftovers. Thankfully Dad didn't even leave anything for us to fight over. He just left his legacy, his unconditional love that got proven way too often to be denied. He left his words and his actions.
I guess, that is ultimately what IT is. Everything that Dad came to mean to me. luckily before he left. And year and a half i got to spend with dad as the son he deserved to have and as the son i was honored to be. That is what IT is. IT is the pride on his face when i beat him at Scrabble. It is the love in his embrace when i came back from the states. IT is him looking at me just as intently as i looked at nothing while phasing out in the middle of a conversation right after the break up. IT is him bringing me out of my misery with a verse from ghalib or faiz or some obscure indian writer no ones even heard of before. IT isn't vested in the natural world, or teh spiritual one. IT isn't something tangible or quantifiable or scalable. That is, in fact, what makes IT so special, so intrinsic to who I will be from this point onwards till the day i leave to join Dad wherever he may be.
IT is all that Dad left me. IT is what i can never be worthy of but have inherited through rights of Birth and of love.
IT is all i have. And i'm never letting go.

Eid really wans't much different than any other day. Cuz There are no words for how much you were missed on Eid either.

I wrote something when father of a friend died. You should give it a read.

Btw I know exacly how you feel. My father died on Eid day at the start of this very year.
This is the one of the most beautiful, evocative eulogies I have read!!

Is it inappropriate to praise your style and expression, considering the circumstance that makes it on display??
Post a Comment

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?