Archive for February 1, 2004

09 Zilhaj 1424 Today I have good news and I hav…

09 Zilhaj 1424

Today I have good news and I have bad news. Bad news first.

Tomorrow I might have to cut the throat of the animals in my house. I am pertified and I am dreading it.

And now the good news.

One thing that I had time to do today. Watch a few works of Rembrandt. One of my favourite painters. And all I can say is – wah. My favourite is ‘Philospher in meditation’. If you try to feel it you can hear and smell that picture. It is as if you are transcended into that place. It is a must see.

A regular reminder that my Urdu blog is here. Where I have started to try to teach Urdu as well.

Baqr Eid ‘Feevah’

Every year muslims (about two million) from all over the world go to Makkah to perform the great pilgrimage of the ‘Hajj’. On the 10th day of the 11th month(Zilhaj) the Hajj in complete. To mark the completion of the Hajj a celebration is held all over the muslim world called Eid ul Azha (also called Baqr Eid). On this day every man who earns makes a sacrifice.

Here in Karachi it is usually a Cow or a Goat. (No No. It gets much much more interesting later on, I promise, Unlike the last time). So basically people buy a cow or a goat usually during the week preceding the Eid. So in a city of 11 million people the number of animals waiting for the sweet relief of a cold blade becomes very very large. So people buy animals and then they tie them in front of their houses. Why? Because generally they would prefer to have the Drawing Rooms to themselves rather than creatures who would have no use of yesterday’s newspaper.

In front of every house you will see cows and goats. An occasional sheep. A very very uncommon camel once in a while. All ready to be slaughtered on the day of Eid. For such a large number of animals there have to be markets right? well, there is one huge market outside the city. It is huge. And it is full of animals and people. You have to look and haggle a lot. So after hours and hours you will have the animal of your choice at your prices. This is how we get things done.

The scene of a group of children holding ropes, that bind the animals heads, and going to greener pastures is very common. Everywhere you go. You will see animals roped to differnt things. Electricity Poles, Gates, Posts and Trees. And on top of that excited children play with the animals as if they were the greatest present ever. Ahhhhhh. And I used to be just like them.

Every street will give you a whole crop of animals to look at and talk about. Differnt kinds and different breeds of cows and goats. Everyone is talking about them. They are like the new cell phone. Otherwise everyone shows off their cell phones. Now they show off their cows. It is much easier I tell you. Cows are much bigger and can be shown off easily.

So with the animals here we wait for eid.