Every Ramzan, many Hindus living in Pakistan fast. My mother herself happily sets an alarm to wake my sister up for sehri (the pre-dawn meal). She prepares an elaborate sehri, and reminiscent of the Sindhi Thadri festival, her fried lolis make an appearance at the table.
No one else in my house wakes up with them, but we make it a point to join in for Iftar, the evening meal to break the fast, and jokingly try to convince my sister that eating five minutes before the azaan is acceptable.
And then comes Eid. At least in Pakistan, Eid and Diwali have much in common. Both are marked by an abundance of mithai (sweets). It is customary to wear new clothes if one can afford them, and like Eidi on Eid, it is tradition to give presents on Diwali too. Every year, my family welcomes our friends over for Diwali, and come Eid, we visit our Muslim friends’ houses.
As we grew up underneath the layers of systemically taught hate, my Muslim friends and I began to find common ground, and developed a better understanding of each other. I would sneak them into our temples so they could get a glimpse of my world, and accompany them to Mughal-era mosques to get a sense of theirs.
Read more: Communal Harmony