By Mahvish Akhtar, MMNS
Today is Eid. It is a day to be joyous and to be happy. Yet for some reason I canâ€™t find one good reason to be happy today. I smile and laugh and get dressed and go about my marry day but happiness and content is far from me today. Today, I keep looking back and finding that there is so much that has been lost to get us to this day. Today, I close my eyes and see so many faces that should have been, ought to have been with us but are not. Today, I wish it wasnâ€™t today but was yesterday or even further away somewhere in the past.
I feel like time has slipped somewhere from our hands and we are standing in a hell that we have prepared for ourselves. If only I could take charge of my life for a little bit I could go back and fix a few things that have been lost because of what I couldnâ€™t understand back then. But this is the one thing man will never comprehend completely that life only goes forward and it only moves in one direction. If mankind understood this concept maybe we would have the right to celebrate Eid today as it should be celebrated.
What makes me so sad you ask? Well I am sad for the things that I have lost and that have been lost in this world. If I had to start somewhere I would start with my son who I always imagine with me on Eid. I imagine him today happy, playing and laughing but not with me. In the 3 years that I knew him I never knew a day that was not filled with content. There were days I was sad sure, there were days I felt bad of course, but I was always content deep down and I always knew it was going to be okay. Now that he is gone it doesnâ€™t seem that way any more. In 3 years he had become such a big part of my life that even after his death I wonder how I had lived without him when before he came to me.
So, itâ€™s hard to be happy on an Eid that is celebrated by a mother who has lost her children. I lost my child only after 3 years and I canâ€™t stop thinking about him especially on happy occasions like these. I wonder what those mothers are doing who have lost their grown children who they had come to love and depend on. I wonder what their Eid is like today. I wonder if what they are telling their grandchildren about their fathers or mothers. I wonder about those mothers who see their children in front of them but are not able to put a morsel of food in their mouths.
I wonder about those who are celebrating Eid in literal darkness because of the fear of being bombed. I wonder how those people wish each other a happy Eid when plains and helicopters are flying over head ready attack. Can you imagine the color of the clothes a little girl must be wearing today in Baghdad? Can you imagine which mosque a child goes to pray in with his father and older brothers in Palestine? Can you imagine the food and goodies they have on the table in a house on Kabul with walls that have been left ravaged by bullets?
Can you imagine a child running to his/her parentâ€™s room on the day of Eid to wish them and finding they donâ€™t exist anymore? Can you imagine a mother sitting in front of her childrenâ€™s corps wondering what kind of a present has her luck brought her this Eid? Can you imagine a wife crying for her husband who didnâ€™t even get to enjoy the traditional desert of the day of Eid but instead left her too soon with the burden of raising and feeding the children? Can you imagine what those families must have done in the festivities of Chaand Raat whose family members are missing and they have no idea where or what condition they might be in?
Can you imagine their faces? Can you imagine them wishing happy Eid to one another?
Can you imagine all this on a regular day? Letâ€™s try to imagine those people on the day of Eid.
I stopped crying for my son because there is so much more to cry for in the world. I stopped wishing he was here because this world would only pollute his pure and perfect soul. I start to smile for him and where he is for there he does not have to see any of this. He gets to see the best of everything and that is what he deserves. But then again doesnâ€™t every child deserve that? Doesnâ€™t every mother deserve to feel a sense of relief for her children?
Let me tell you what makes me so sad today. It makes me sad to know that we think we are the only people in the world and that what we do or think does not affect others. It makes me sad to know that we are thinking of ourselves today and letting people all around us suffer because of crimes of others.
This is how I want to celebrate my Eid. I donâ€™t want to celebrate it as an ignorant person who thinks that bad things only happen to others. Because; somewhere among those children there is my child, somewhere among those mothers there is my mother, somewhere among those widowed wives is my sister, one of those dead young men is my brother, between one of those ruined war torn houses is my home.