Sunday, February 12, 2006

Bakra Qiston Pay* (Goat available on Installments! Buy now!)

Although many pleasant events have taken place…none more interesting than that of my recent visit to Pakistan. It was a brief nine day trip for the Sacrificial Eid holidays. This takes place during the hajj season. Cows, goats and camels are slaughtered by many in Pakistan according to their pocket and requirement.

The search for two suitable goats in our case was interesting. It was disgustingly animal experience and the smell still lingers whenever I think of it. Other horror stories and caution abounded during that time, that how important it was to find good impotent goats and not those aggressive high testosterone level ones. Then the teeth was also important as it should be two or 4 teeth not six, signifying old age. Oh well….no difference between arranged marriage search and looking for goat before Eid day!

They even have categories of goats like Aandoo (aggressive, high testosterone) and Khassi (impotent and less jumpy than Aandoo.). In younger days, kids used to imagine Aandoo as some goat that used to drink its own piss, hence not preferred. One could identify a piss drinker by its teeth. Reminds about the stories of the Bombay chief minister so famous drinking his own piss. I wonder how many teeth he had left.

Another interesting event was when I went to the highway cow mandi (cow market) to search for a cow with my cousin. This is for them. They always slaughter cow because the last time they purchased a goat, it committed suicide by jumping from their roof. So much trying to protect the goat from theft on Karachi streets. The goat had already lost hope on life after death.

Any now going back to the cow search….an even more disgusting experience, because cow pooh is so sticky and big especially with clumsy feet. Here is the same teeth situation, the younger the better. Hence two or four teeth, never six.

The last time I spent my sacrifical eid in Pakistan was in the late 80s. Then the venue was Hyderabad, Sindh. A completely different world. These were the good old young days… we lived in a huge house..a 2000 sq. yard bungalow. There I distinctly remember my little sister distributing very peculiar looking bead type sweets to all the kids (which she happened to find on the bungalow grounds). When my mother inspected it closely it turned to be nothing else but goat pooh. Such can be interesting goat stories.

For all you people who seem to be perpetually in debt not out of necessity but out of fashion, now you can purchase your sacrificial goat every year through a credit card. Any non payment of the over due amount is a matter to be settled between you, the bank and Allah. Wish you all a very very late and prepaid Happy Bakra Eid!

* This is the title of a very famous and popular stage (theatre) show produced by a Pakistani comedian Umar Shareef.