With the annual Eid ul Fitr celebrations taking place in countries worldwide, it took a turn in Pakistan this year. With the onset of the novel coronavirus causing catastrophe and chaos, we already knew the holiday would not be the same to begin with.
On Friday, the 22nd of May, the ill-fated crash of PIA flight PK-8303 claimed many precious lives, leaving families and loved ones in a state of shock with the loss, the country echoing the sense of despair on Jumaa-tul-Widaa. With Eid on the brim of the weekend, the spirit simply was not the same.
As COVID 19 has left the world speechless, lockdowns, quarantine and so on, life is very different than it was a few months ago. This year the planned shows, events, Chaand Raat celebrations that were to be held were all put to a side as we all grieve the devastating loss. Fahad Mustafa had announced on his social media how he would be cancelling his show Jeeto Pakistan, in light of the tragic accident, and many other celebrities announced their dismay, mourning in the first day of Eid, as they put up black pictures as their displays, as a show of solidarity and unison, not feeling the cheery welcoming of the notably happy occasion which has been marked with sadness this time around.
Taking to their social media to express sentiments and condolences, celebrities such as Ushna Shah, Mehwish Hayat, Mawra Hocane, Khoji, Ayeza Khan, Nadia Hussain, Iqra Aziz, Zara Noor Abbas, Kubra Khan, Sonya Hussyn, and many many more names from the media fraternity have shown their grievances, with Zhalay Sarhadi even quoted 'the same Eid fervour wasn't in the air', as we all feel the impact of the loss.
This year, Eid is a bit dismal on celebrations, as there is no rush for mehndi, no urgency to buy bangles, no need to make it about mandatory Eid selfies but, a change in the atmosphere. To celebrate is a right on its own but many have chosen a different and quieter way perhaps, as celebrities advocate to pray for the departed in their Eid prayers and the holiday has been spent with family and close relatives at home, the streets rather empty this year. The lack of celebration is not a hindrance to a happy occasion, the situation and predicament this year, with recent circumstances creating a rather upsetting turn of events. In times like these, we can cling to out faith as we see public figures urge us with messages of hope and respect, the one thing we look forward to seeing on social media.
This tragedy has been thought-provoking as we reflect and learn how it has taught us to cherish the time we have with the ones we love, and in dark moments we need to retain our calm, spirit and gratitude as we appreciate the chance we have to experience a better tomorrow and more to come. This Eid is unique for every individual who is allowed to celebrate, grieve or simply be, unlike any we have known before.
"Do not lose hope, nor be sad."