Eid al-Fitr marks the end of the month-long fast period. When the crescent moon shines through the night sky, it marks the advent of Eid. We're unsure if the moon can be clearly seen through Delhi's polluted air, but that has never deterred 'Dilliwalas' from celebrating Eid with full gusto, especially in 'Purani Dilli'.
In the month of Ramadan, the lanes in front of Jama Masjid come alive; it bears a carnival-like atmosphere. The aroma of kebabs and biryani lures you to these jam-packed alleys.
Families and children are dressed in their festival best; no one misses out on the chance to flaunt their Eid fashion quotient.
During the fasting period, the 'azaan' starts at 5:15 pm. The entire masjid is filled with the devout. After 'wuzu' (washing their hands and feet), they enter the mosque. What's interesting is their synchronisation and the rhythm of the prayer. It gives a sense of oneness.
To break the fast, the masjid offers free food to everyone – samosa, jalebi, banana, and dates. Around 6:55 pm, the official announcement is made for the iftar. That's when the fast is broken.
In 'Puraani Dilli', the vibe of Eid hasn't changed for centuries. The old and the new co-exist here. Even now, when the faithful embrace each other with an 'Eid Mubarak', just for a moment, all the pain, hardship, and struggles of life are forgotten and they surrender themselves to the festivities. As they say, "Eid toh bahana hai, bas khushi manana hai."