Over the last two days sportspersons from all over India have flooded the social media networks with heartfelt Eid greetings to their fans, well wishers and countrymen on the occasion of Eid Al-Fitr. Those who are in a position to celebrate Eid with their friends and family members in these difficult times, feel that they are truly blessed.
For Sania Mirza and her family, it was a very special and memorable occasion. The family is now in Dubai and for the first time all of them are together for Eid.
Speaking to siasat.com Sania’s father Imran Mirza said : “For the first time ever in my life, our entire family are celebrating Eid together. Otherwise, always someone or the other was missing from our gathering. This time my two daughters, my two sons-in-law, my two year old grandson and my wife and I, all have joined together for Eid. This is a day that we will never forget. And I extend warm Eid Mubarak to all friends and followers back home,” he said.
“It goes without saying that celebrations are very subdued this year. The local administration here (in Dubai) has ruled that you cannot meet more than five people at a time. There are several restrictions because of the COVID situation. Violations of any of the rules will entail heavy fines. So we are all being very careful,” said Imran.
“Last year too, we had a problem. We had to carry out our prayers in my house and do it quickly. Azharuddin was with us last year. But this time he is in Hyderabad. But yes, we enjoyed the usual treats like biryani and Sheer Khorma. Even water feels so good to drink,” said Imran with a laugh.
But what is worrying Imran and Sania is the uncertainty surrounding her forthcoming tournaments. Getting visas during this time of the pandemic is a major problem. Sania has plans to take part in the Wimbledon championships this year but currently the indications are that only Sania will be given a visa. “No trainer, coach or any other person will be allowed to accompany her,” explained Imran.
“This will be a big disadvantage. Sania, or any other player for that matter, needs to have some people to provide support. Besides, Sania is worried about leaving her son for long periods of time. My grandson Izhaan Mirza Malik is only two years old and a little child of that age finds it very difficult to stay away from the mother for long periods,” confessed Imran. “I hope and pray that this COVID problem will soon recede into the background and we can go ahead with our normal lives,” he added.
Meanwhile, back in Hyderabad, former Indian cricket captain Mohammed Azharuddin also greeted the people of India on the auspicious occasion. “Eid Mubarak to all citizens of India. I pray to the Almighty to keep everyone safe and well protected in these trying times. Let us all be humble and take care of our family members and friends,” he said to siasat.com.
Former cricketer Arshad Ayub who had represented India in 33 Test matches and 62 ODIs besides leading Hyderabad in domestic cricket also conveyed his Eid greetings to all countrymen and others across the globe. “My heartfelt good wishes to everyone on the occasion of Eid Al-Fitr. May, the Almighty shower His blessings on all of us. May this day be joyful for all of us,” he said.
Other cricketers like Virender Sehwag, Anil Kumble, Sachin Tendulkar, Ajinkya Rahane, Harbhajan Singh, Mohammed Shami and Yuvraj Singh were among those who sent out Eid greetings on social media. Sehwag wrote on Twitter : “In these unprecedented times, let the spirit of Eid bring love, peace and joy to all. Eid Mubarak. Stay safe.”
P.T. Usha who was once known as the Golden Girl of India for bagging many gold medals at international athletic meets also joined in by greeting everyone Eid Mubarak on Twitter. Nikhat Zareen, the former junior world champion boxer from Telangana wrote: “Sending my dua to you and your loved ones amid the global health crisis. May the Almighty heal the world. Eid Mubarak.”
But moving away from the world of sport, one of the most well stated greetings came from the Indian Ambassador to Kuwait Sibi George. He said, “At this moment when we celebrate Eid Al-Fitr, let us put our thoughts with those in isolation and suffering, let our prayers be for the world to heal quickly and for a compassionate and healthy future. I pray that this festival strengthens our belief in charity, our faith in fraternity and our commitment to compassion. Eid Mubarak to all. May you all be safe and stay blessed.”
This year the second wave of the COVID-19 virus has altered the normal practices to some extent. Masjid committees all over the country have urged the Muslims not to have mass prayers on the occasion. Many clerics have appealed to the faithful to offer prayers at home and celebrate with family only.
Abhijit Sen Gupta is a seasoned journalist who writes on Sports and various other subjects.