Today I had woken up to the same old shrill sound of my alarm clock as I do every morning, however today, there was something very different. Immediately I felt an overwhelming sensation creeping up on me as I made the realization that today was Eid, back home.[irp]
This was the first-ever time that I had personally spent Eid away from friends and family, friends and my home country. It was the first time in my life that neither my mother nor father walked into my room to wake me up for the Eid prayers early in the morning.
This was the first time in my life that I had not walked out of my room to be greeted by my younger brother collecting Eidi to buy all the chocolate he possibly could. One thing that really hit me hard was the fact that this Eid, I would not be having my favorite traditional cuisine most probably Sawaiyaan.
My residence in this foreign land was without the shrill and hustle and bustle that could be found back home. At one time my mind was trying to register everything. I kept lying in my bed, thinking about all those Eid mornings when I would be annoyed at waking up early or having to meet a number of guests throughout the day.
Today I would give an arm and a leg to get that back for a moment. This feeling of emptiness was unlike anything I had ever felt before. When I was back home, I took each day for granted and thought of it as being overrated. However ironically today I felt nothing as I did before.
Today I realized how non-overrated Eid and the festivities back home was. I felt closest to all of it, even though today I was farthest away from all of it. Eid, as I realized, is much more than just the rituals. It has become a `part of our roots and our culture too. Some of our fondest memories are about Eid and the associated festivities. They become so embedded in our life and mind that it does not even seem to be there until it is gone, or you are.
I thought that being independent, living alone, it would be the best experience of my entire life, and it most certainly was one of the best experiences, but there was always something missing. Today I have realized that there is so much that we take for granted back home.
The enthusiasm found in people regardless of their age, social class or gender is what is actually the spirit of Eid and is also one of the best things about the whole occasion. It may seem pointless or annoying too, but cherish it while it lasts, because you never know if you will be spending the next Eid at home or not.
Following is one of the famous commercials from Pakistan. You would love the emotions even if you don't understand the language.