Fahim (pseudonym) receives his first Eid bonus at his workplace. For a second, a flashback takes him years back: his father giving his Eid bonus to his mother. His mother cannot help but smile in awe which brings a gleam of satisfaction to his father's face. Little Fahim did not understand much of these emotions. The only thing that made him and his sister jump in glee was the assurance of new dresses for Eid.
Coming back to the reality of the present, Fahim cannot wait to see that same emotion in his mother's eyes when he hands over his Eid bonus. Perhaps, being able to feel the depth of this emotion is what adulthood brings to the perception of Eid.
We, humans, are not so fond of changes. In most cases, we search for comfort. Even for the Eid celebration, this is inevitable. More so because Eid in our country is beyond just a religious celebration or ritual. Rather, Eid, in literal meaning happiness, comes as a witness to all the turns in different stages of our lives. Eid is that familiar smell of our old blanket we have outgrown.
Like every year, once again Eid has arrived at our doors and is just a few days away. Since it is the first Eid in the post-Covid scenario, the hype is visible everywhere-- from the crowds of shopping malls to the transports leaving Dhaka. Amid all these, how are the newly turned adults with their big events like graduation, new job or even leaving home for work or education perceiving the idea of Eid this year?
Monwar Hossain Rokon, assistant manager of Finance at Standard Chartered Bangladesh, a recent graduate agrees with the anecdote of Fahim at the beginning of this article. He says about the positive changes of adulthood, "You get to contribute to the family and that satisfaction is unparalleled. Gifting sharee-punjabi to your parents and new dresses to younger siblings is happiness. I love cooking so I also enjoy buying groceries for home."
The changes in Eid celebration become more drastically visible when one has to leave home for work or education. Tabassum Islam Susmi, Erasmus Mundus Joint Masters student at the University of Barcelona, will celebrate her first Eid away from home this year. She will definitely be missing the long vacations, meeting friends and family, and mostly home-cooked food. However, she is trying to have a positive look at the change. As she shares her thoughts, "I personally believe that every experience counts. And I want to make this experience of Eid worthwhile too."
When asked to share a favourite memory from her childhood Eid, she said it was watching dramas directed by Humayun Ahmed at her grandparents' house on Eid evening with the entire family.
Even when we badly want to, we cannot bring back some things from the past. Nonetheless, taking some beloved elements from the past to blend with the present is one of the best ways to cope with changes. Tabassum has also sketched out such an idea in her mind, "I plan to arrange a Bangladeshi movie evening over some shemai, payesh etc. Most of my friends have very little idea about the celebration of Eid, so I thought in this way I can connect an old dot to a new dot of my life."
Even with all these twists and turns of life, like most people, these newly turned adults also cope with the changes and search for new ways of happiness given there is no financial burden or harsh turns in life. Otherwise, Eid does not come that easily when issues like unbearable price hikes in the market, scarcity of jobs, lack of livable homes, etc. hit like a tornado in this new stage of life. May this Eid bring a gush of relief and a hint of happiness for those who are fighting the harder battle. The celebration of Eid holds greater meaning from different angles, be it in childhood or adulthood if we cherish the good even when we do not have the same people or ambience around us.
The writer is a third-year BBA student at IBA, University of Dhaka.