Veteran actress Zarina Wahab no longer celebrates Eid. She has a startling yet accurate assessment of the festive fervor in India. “If you are religious-minded don’t go for an inter-religious marriage. No matter how much in love you are there will always be a conflict of interest.”
Zarina, however, has no such problem. “I am not that passionate about religious celebrations. I am married to a Hindu and our children have been brought up to believe all religions to be equal. In our home we celebrate neither Diwali nor Eid. But we believe all religions to be equally important. There is no mahaul in my own home to read the namaaz on Eid which is the most important part of Eid. So I go to my sister’s place every Eid where I go through all the rituals and festivities. But I repeat, I am not compulsively religious. I go to temples, mosques, gurudwaras and churches with equal reverence.”
Zarina recalls her Eid celebrations during her growing up years in Hyderabad with exceeding affection.
“Eid was the most important day of the year. And all of us, my three sisters and one brother would prepare for it days in advance. The biggest excitement for Eid was the new clothes. This was the only time of the year when we got new clothes. Abba would buy one big thaan (ream) of cloth and all of us sisters and brother (who is no more) would get identical clothes stitched from the same fabric,” says Zarina fondly.
She recalls her Eid in Hyderabad with tremendous nostalgia. “Everyone would participate. We would not look at kaun Hindi kaun Muslim. Everyone was served the Eid delicacies. Now that bonhomie is gone. The Eid parties in Bollywood are more show than feel the spirit of Eid.”