The Essence of Eid

I have always been celebrating Eid ever since I was a child.  My parents made it a point to celebrate it every year so that I had an exposure to being part of two religious communities. Every year my father would go to the mosque in the morning and after his return my parents would give me Eidi, which is a tradition for elders to give the children some money on Eid morning. Then we would either celebrate the day by having lunch with my paternal cousins or have a small lunch at home with all the traditional Eid sweets. This year however I got to celebrate the festival with my paternal family who celebrate this day with great gusto and excitement. Finally, the day arrived, and I had a marvellous time. With food being cooked and served every two minutes and the fun I had with my cousins, I could easily say that was the best part was the day. However, it was a different sense that made my Eid better. It was the undeniable sense of community that was there. The sense of community is unfortunately something I as a child living in Delhi have never experienced. Everybody in the tiny town got together to celebrate, even those who weren’t Muslim. Everyone decorated and ate together and there was a sense of everyone being together and happy, even if it was only for one day. All anger is forgotten, and a sense of fraternity is created.

That is the true essence of Eid.

 

A Visit to the Doctor

My eyes are red and closed tight,

My knees are shaking and my face is white,

As I sit on the cold seat, I think

Oh dear I’m surely dead meat!

The doctor approaches, his teeth a shiny gleam.

He walks a little closer. I utter a scream

There it was, a needle as sharp as a knife

I tremble. my body drained of its life

The needle was inches from my skin

And there it went, smoothly in

I scream and shout with all my might,

I must have made quite a sight

Three seconds later the doctor says ” All done!”

His face as red as the  afternoon sun

He cries “Now time for the second one!”

What’s Perfect Anyways?

 

 “When given the choice between being right and being kind, choose kind”

When I first read this quote, I was an immature fifth grader and these words meant nothing to me. It was only when I experienced tough situations of my own did I understand the meaning of this quote. Some people feel that this quote only implies to people with ‘unusual problems’ like Auggie, from the book where this quote comes from. However, I disagree. This quote not only means being kind to people who others force you to believe need sympathy but anyone or anything. Kindness to me is like a medicine, people say they do not want it but inside they know that they need it. The choice between being right and being wrong for the sake of being “kind” is a choice no person can make easily, but being right and hurting someone’s feelings can also make you feel ten times worse than being wrong but kind. That is why I believe that this quote is one that can make a difference in the way people behave.

An example can be if there is a certain child who is from an underprivileged background and he/she has joined a school. The child is less clever and cannot read as well as the other students who come from privileged backgrounds. Initially during classes, the child is getting lower marks compared to others. In this situation the teacher has two ways to approach the child and give him/her the feedback. The teacher can either tell the child in the same way he/she tells other students, writing a strict note to the parents with the truth written in clear words ‘Your child is unable to perform properly etc.’, which is the ‘right’ way. Or he/she could take the “kind” approach and give the child a gentle and empathetic feedback and let the child know what he/she needs to do better without making the child feel bad. The reason here is a simple one, the child is less experienced than the other students who come from privileged backgrounds, thus initially he/she has difficulty in scoring higher marks or doing as good as the other students. Thus, the approach, I feel, should be the kind one in this case.

Another example of a situation which would be better if people were kind would be from the book ‘Fish in a Tree’, which is about a girl who is dyslexic and is treated like an outsider because of this by the students and teachers alike, causing her to start feeling self-conscious and embarrassed. Only one teacher and student pair are kind to her and notice the true artist that is hidden behind the taunted girl.

“I come with no wrapping or fancy bows.

I am who I am, from my head to my toes.

I tend to get loud when speaking my mind.

Even a little crazy sometimes

Mistakes are human or so that’s what they say.

Well, tell me what’s perfect anyways?”

I had written this essay as a submission for a writing competition organized by Readomania. The article I wrote was also selected as the top ten most promising writeups and I also won a scholarship to a Writer’s Retreat. Noted author Siddartha Gigoo was also one of the judges and was part of the writers’ retreat.

https://www.readomania.com/story/whats-perfect-anyways

 

 

 

 

 

 

My Greek Holiday: Athens

I recently went to the country Greece for my summer holidays. I have always wanted to visit Greece after reading about it and devouring Greek mythology. I visited Athens and Santorini, two of the most popular place to go to in Greece, I would be happy to share my adventure with you!!
My trip started of when I landed in Athens at midnight. I was too excited to be asleep and my parents and grandmother were quite annoyed with my constant chatter. But our host was amused at my interest in greek history. I was delighted to see that our hotel was quite near the main city tourist spots. It was a wonderful location.
The next day we visited the main square of Athens Monasthiraki square. We, my parents,my grandmother , our host, Mr. Lampros and me, had a walking tour of the area near our home. We saw the roman market, ancient agora, the parliament house, the place where the great Socrates gave his speeches and many more places. It was amazing. I met my aunt who had come from USA and we went home.
The next day we went to the ancient temple of Apollo. The name is the temple of Apollo or the oracle of Delphi. Some quick history…he oracle of Delphi was the place where the god who could see the future, Apollo, would send his predictions down to earth and the person who received the messages, the priest, would then pass the prediction on to the mortals waiting to hear!
There was a lot of climbing after we finished the tour of the Delphi museum. The ancient Greeks built there temples way up hill. The same thing for the Parthenon which we were going to visit the next day. But in the end it was worth every bit of it. The view of the oracle was stunning and made me very happy. After a few (..thousand!) images me and my family were back in Athens to rest after this long journey.
You just cannot visit Athens without seeing the acropolis!! It is like going to Paris and not seeing the Eiffel tower. That is what me and my family were going to do today! We headed off to the acropolis centre at around breakfast. After a quick bite at a local café, we ready to climb the acropolis hill. And as I mentioned earlier, there was a LOT OF CLIMBING!!! Me and my dad sprinted ahead and my mom and aunt were a couple of steps away. My grandma decided to stay back and watch us climb. Around an hour later me and my dad reached the top of the acropolis hill where the acropolis,
The Parthenon and main temple of Athena was situated. This was the best thing I had ever seen and all the climbing was quite worth it. I was thrilled at the sight of the beautiful remains of the ancient greek temples, I felt so happy and in a way satisfied because I knew that all the preparation and reading I had been doing on this acropolis was all true. The way back down was easy and all of us were very cheerful and decided to do some shopping in the acropolis museum. I bought a beautiful headband that looked exactly like a wreathe. We caught up with my grandma who had already started going through the museum and saw all the artefacts and extravaganza that the acropolis museum had for us. We all headed back after the museum to the hotel rest after this truly amazing day!!!