BENGALURU: Sermons and prayers at home, doubts about Qurbani and a hearty spread of food with just immediate family members... Bakrid this year is going to lack the usual pomp of festivities. Residents in the city are planning to bring in the festival on a silent note due to the ongoing pandemic and are hoping next year will make up for the low-key celebrations this year.
For Roshni Safir, a 38-year-old freelance makeup artist, while the celebrations will see her family whip up the usual delicacies like Kanafeh (a Middle Eastern dessert) and carrot halwa, the Qurbani (sacrifice), which is the highlight of the festival, looks highly uncertain. Like Ramzan, this festival too will see her celebrating the occasion at home with just immediate family members. "This year, the Qurbani proceedings in our family remain uncertain due to the ongoing pandemic. Distributing food to the needy might be possible if we can hand over the food to a third party," she says.
Sarmad Andrabi, on the other hand, plans to ask his relatives back home in Kashmir to carry out the ritual on his family’s behalf. The city-based network engineer says, “If they can’t, I am also looking at some online sites that carry out the Qurbani on one’s behalf in Saudi Arabia. My parents have taken a practical approach towards festivities this year and certainly won’t go to a mosque. We are going to make the most of what we can indoors,” says Andrabi, adding that a Covid-19 case arising from his apartment society has also come across as a reality check on stepping out.
Omer Adil, a city-based businessman. Since sheep and goats aren’t widely available in the city due to the
current circumstances, the 27-year-old is going to look at other alternatives. “There’s no option of inviting people home or stepping out to distribute meat. Previously, we would host a feast at home where we would invite our relatives but that’s not an option in this pandemic,” says Adil, adding that greetings will be carried out through video calls instead of face-to-face meetings.
For Arhaan Mirza Beigh (29), an administrative officer for a group of schools in the city, these alternatives do not satisfy the traditional rituals of Qurbani. “One has to sacrifice an animal, that is the traditional proceedings. Buying/cooking the meat to distribute the food doesn’t adhere to the ritual,” explains Beigh, adding that even morning prayers offered at mosques will now be offered from home. “The meat from the sacrifice is distributed in three parts – for oneself, for relatives, and for the needy. All these proceedings have gone for a toss this year,” he rues. While Beigh will celebrate with just immediate family members this year, he hopes next year will see the usual proceedings.