01 January 1970

A Series Of Poems On Eid

Weekend Reads

A Series Of Poems On Eid

Poet Moumita Alam writes five poems for Outlook.

Photo: Getty Images
Photo: Getty Images


Abba shouts for
the attar.
Maa rushes out of
the kitchen.

She dabs the attar
on his two hands
and behind the earlobes.
He goes to the EidGah*

My father smells
Kannauj attar
And my mother smells
sweats, saffron,
ghee and garam masala.

Abba prays for all
Maa marinates meatballs
in dahi.

EidGah is a blessed
place, they say.
And Kitchen?

Maa never answers.

Attar - A type of fragrance that is made from the essence of various flowers, herbs, roots, spices, and barks. Some Muslims use it as personal hygiene. And it's used mostly on the day of Eid before going to the Mosque for prayer. 

Eid Gah: where Eid prayer is performed.

Eid Mubarak!

My husband returns
from Eid prayer.
I wait for a warm

He asks me to serve
the delicacies
on the dining table
for him and his friends.

He pulls me behind
the door
and whispers in
my ears-
"Biryani me namak kam hain."
(Salt is less in Biryani).


Where can I go to
pray, Ammi?
Ammi: ssshhh!

Is there any God
for "They?"


The women are on
Whose dress is best!
Exchanging pictures.

The bloated husbands
are snoring
in their afternoon

The boys have returned
after prayers.
Their sisters were
playing with the dolls at home.

Eid Somewhere In
A Dystopian Land In 2024

Abba will be drenched
in the sweats
of my Ammi's fragrance.

Both will raise
their hands together in prayers.
My son will search
for the lost sandals of my daughter
in the EidGah field.

My friend in the
rainbow will drizzle
in the Khutbah*

Khutbah: public preaching in Islam. In Eid Prayers too, Imam delivers Khutbah.

(Moumita Alam is a poet from West Bengal. Her poetry collection, The Musings of the Dark was published in 2020. The book has about a hundred poems written in protest against the humanitarian crisis from the abrogation of article 370, the Delhi riots, and the Shaheen Bagh movement to the unbearable sufferings of the migrant labourers due to the unplanned COVID - induced lockdown.)