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It's #eid and
the only time i hear my mother not wailing
over the death of
both- bodies of some
and conscience of most
of this country she grew up to know as "ghar"- is when a distant relative
from the village she knew as "bachpan"
tells her that he managed to attend the eid prayer
wearing his newly stiched
white kurta payjama
with the skull cap
and was not called names on his way.

it's a different story
that he'd tread that path
from his home
to the eidgaah
in an old and worn out
but still-somehow-moving car
that he had the privilege to not have to
use his limbs
to walk to the eidgaah
where every step
would seem like someone is inching a pocket knife closer
and closer to his 'jigar'
past the scornful eyes
of the colony he once knew as "best friend's family"
or "my second home"
or "brother from another mother"
today the brother seems mad
and angry
and vengeful
for a game of vengence that neither ever signed up for
how did it happen, brother?
the only game we knew how to play
was with
colors of happiness in holi
lights of mischief in diwali
cardboards of making the "better looking" raavaan in dushehra

how did it happen
that you weren't the first
one to hug me this eid
do you remember?
the rib crushing
and soul fulfilling hug
that we fondly remembered
as home.
when did home
forget it's way to the balcony
to sight the moon together
and shout
in unison
"eid mubarak!" is it still eid
if the eidi is not in cash
but in kind
the kind you find in cold mortuaries

is it still eid
if we serve our
necks on a platter
and call it hospitality?
read fatima aslam khan's thoughts on @yourquoteapp
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