Friday, 26 October 2012

The Butcher, The Baker and This Eid

These days in Kashmir, you will find the people wondering if it is still October. Some have already started to wonder what the 'real' winter will look like. Some are looking at the LPG crisis and the power shortages and raising a personal brouhaha within themselves. The Darbar is moving, and that is just another thing moving out of Kashmir.

Some folks who came to Kashmir to spend the Eid here have already fallen ill. Caught the flu and fever. By turns.

But Eid-ul-Azha is round the corner. And every thing is equal potions of glee and glum.

The top most priority is, of course, meat. The butcher shops are crowded. They have pre-bookings and regular phone calls from awaiting customers. People need meat! Mixed with the scarcity of LPG to cook it, even kerosene is having a day out in Srinagar. On seeing the rush at the local butcher's a person remarked, "as if he is selling LPG". But we know Kashmir has run out of gas!

Like wazas on weddings, butchers call the shots on this Eid. From delivering sheep, to showing up on time for slaughtering them. Wazas, for themselves have resigned on this Eid quoting the scarcity of LPG and the low quality of meat available.

Then there is the bakery. Festive, formal, fun, foreign, folksy,flagrant, fresh, flavourful, fragrant, familiar, fuzzy - there is a piece of Kashmir's bakery for Everyone. And Everyone is acutely aware of it. He is everywhere. Everyone crowds all the shops selling anything named 'bakery'. Some shops which do not sell, 'bakery' normally  cease all business and sell 'bakery'. Everyone knows it, and you'll find him there as well. He is in the makeshift stalls at Khayam Chowk, buying bakery as well as in the huge shamyana at Nawhatta Chowk doing the same. In the fly infested establishments run by Indians in interior Dalgate and also in the finer cakeries in Lal Chowk.

The streets are always crowded. People moving here and there. Invariably carrying bakery. Precious boxes!

On the little plaza outside "Modern Sweets" a TV crew was asking the shoppers some questions. A middle-aged man was explaining something very evocatively with a lot of flourishing of hands. Then two young girls stepped into the frame and the anchor began questioning them. A small broken circle of onlookers formed around them. Meanwhile rest of the world went on to buy Bakery.

It was only befitting to sample a piece of 'bakery' here.

This year Eid arrives on a precarious date. October 27th is ever observed as a general strike in Kashmir. It was the date on which Indian troops landed in Srinagar in 1947, and thus began our 65 year old conflict. Since then thousands died, thousands were maimed, thousands vanished into thin air. The conflict didn't end, the celebrations did.

But lets, even for a Black Day, sweep the despair aside, and commemorate Eid-ul-Zuha, and remember that God's tests are great, but for the faithful the rewards greater.

In the end, Eid Mubarak, dear reader. May Allah shower his blessings on you - this Eid.


  1. Eid Mubarakh to you.
    Delighted to go through your blog. There is some very interesting stuff written up there!

    Keepup the good work.... Allah Bless!

    1. Thank you. Glad to know that you liked it. Eid Mubarak to you and your family too!

  2. Lovely post berader. And the advice still remains. Get on wordpress.

    1. I'm glad you liked it. I've seriously considered getting on to Wordpress, but I like the customisation Blogger provides. So, so far staying here. By the way, you can comment here using Wordpress login, if you wish...

  3. I think substance is more important than the form. Good work Rich Autumns.

    1. Substance is always more important. I do try it keep it that way. Thank you!!!


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