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Everything to do with Bakra Eid

Everything to do with Bakra Eid

KARACHI: The customer almost pounces on the sacrificial goats being pulled down from the truck, which transported them to the big city. “Let me take at least one off your hands. I have Rs10,000 on me right here,” he says flashing the notes temptingly in the goat seller’s face.

After some bargaining negotiations, the seller finally gives in, albeit reluctantly, and sells one of his animals to the persistent customer for Rs11,000. “It is okay. I am also in need of money and don’t want to turn away my very first customer in Karachi. I’ll sell the others for more,” he says turning to glance at his brood before telling the next customer approaching him that each goat costs Rs45,000 and a pair is for Rs90,000, no less.

If you have already purchased a sacrificial animal, you would know that it isn’t all that you are going to do to prepare for Eidul Azha.

You need grass, hay and fodder for the animal to feed on. A clean earthen pot for clean water, too. And if you have children, they would like to decorate the animal. There is a huge choice of decorations available for sacrificial animals — collars, beads, bells, ropes and chains.

The next most expensive thing that you may need, if you don’t have them at home already, after your sacrificial animal are deep freezers to store the meat and gas and microwave ovens for preparing roast or tandoori dishes, if that is what you like.

If you have been wise, you must have tied up with a butcher beforehand. They don’t come cheap either. Current demands fall between Rs2,000 and Rs4,000 for goats and lambs, and from Rs8,000 to Rs12,000 for cows.

That done, you’ll need tools, utensils, cooking apparatus and other articles, too. Naeem Islam, who sells knives near Eid Gah, says that everyone needs new knives around this time. “I have a variety of knives, big as well as small ones. There are cleavers, carvers, slicers, etc, but most people who come here want small knives because those are the ones which they keep misplacing all the time and need to replace often. Then if they have not kept them clean, the knives gather rust. Those need to be replaced as well,” he says. The knives cost as low as Rs100 to as expensive as Rs1,200 apiece. The Rs100 ones are the smaller ones though.

In case you don’t need to buy new knives, you would need to get your old ones sharpened. You also need butcher blocks. These are basically chopped tree rounds and are available for Rs50 a kilogram.

Piled up nearby, one on top of the other, are the barbecue grills, or angeethi as they are called in Urdu. Abdur Rahman, the shopkeeper, says that the two-foot-long grills are the hot sellers. “They come in many sizes, of course, but the two-foot-long ones are handy for households. They cost around Rs800 each but if you want a smaller one, it can cost you half that much. Bigger ones are Rs1,500 and over,” he says.

And if you have a barbecue grill, you would also need skewers, a spit, forks, mesh grills, etc. If you have properly stored yours from before by coating them with coconut oil and wrapping them in old newspaper sheets, then all you need to do is to bring them out and wash them. If you didn’t store them properly, they would have gathered rust by now and you’ll need new ones. They aren’t very expensive — the boti skewers are for Rs120 a dozen and the seekh kabab ones are for Rs240 a dozen. That done … don’t forget the coal!

Published in Dawn September 11th, 2016

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