You must be reading these notes on Eid Day. This would probably mean you have probably not gone to The Village, but are marking Eid Day in Lahore. This business of going to The Village for the Eids also means going there for weddings and funerals. Funerals are perhaps the worst, for those who get to The Village must organise a congregation for the funeral prayer, and when the corpse to be buried arrives, all swollen and smelly, it is in no fit state to be displayed. That seems to be the be-all and end-all of weddings and funerals: display. At funerals, it’s the corpse, at weddings the dowry. In Villages, it seems, no one has heard of the law against dowries, which is ignored as firmly as that against underage marriages.

Well, whether at The Village, on your way to it, or celebrating Eid in Lahore, you would only be doing so by kind permission of Mufti Muneebur Rehman, who didn’t see the Shawwal moon, and thus there were 30 fasts. Personally, I’m more concerned about Lailatul Qadr, which the President chose to mark in Makkah, where he was attending the OIC’s Extraordinary Summit. Assuming he came back at the end of the Summit, he would find himself having another Lailatul Qadr.

I only hope that he made the necessary supplications for the prosperity and progress of Pakistan both times. The Saudis saw the Ramazan moon a day before we did, and thus there is a one-day difference between ours and theirs. In fact, it must now be nigh on 40 years, that people coming back to Pakistan from work in the Mid-East would be faced with 31 fasts before Eid. And on what would be Eid in the country they left, they would be fasting. As they say, only the Devil fasts on Eid… Yeah, and Pakistanis working in the Middle East, and back home for the Eid holidays.

There’s the problem of not just Lailatul Qadr, because it isn’t specified for 27 Ramazan. It could be any odd-numbered night in the last 10 days of the Holy month, like the 21, 23, 25, 27 or 29. Now either we’ve got them wrong, or the Arabs do, because their odd-numbered nights were even-numbered over here. Maybe the solution is to go into itikaaf. I mean, if you constantly pray for 10 days, even or odd, you’ll be praying on all nights.

So if the President was to pray for his country on Lailatul Qadr, it would be good for the country. I suppose all the Presidents prayed for their own countries, not Syria, which was the place where all the killing was going on. Or if they prayed for Syria, maybe they prayed that the Saudi King’s plan for it would succeed. Lailatul Qadr means the Night of Power, by the way, so perhaps that would be another attraction to the President.

Another problem with the President having switched for a couple of days to the Saudi calendar is that we don’t know whether it was Independence Day on Lailatul Qadr or not. It had been back in 1947, and it was again this year, prompting calls last heard decades ago for Independence Day to be celebrated on Lailatul Qadr.

I’m not too sure that is the best of ideas. We can well ignore the fact that Lailatul Qadr is a night, while Pakistan was given independence at 12 noon. This was exceptional, but it was done to avoid us having the same Independence Day as India, which became independent at midnight, As soon as August 15 began.

Pakistan has since had to face a lot of problems, which have been varied, but one of them has not been the absence of any deaths by wheelie this year, but the migration of Hindus to India, in search of security. I can understand the desire to leave, because there’s a lot of insecurity, but to India? And if nobody has been killed in wheelies, there’s been other bloodletting, not just at Kamra, but also of Shias. Someone, somewhere, wants Pakistan to suffer from the kind of sectarian bloodletting, as in Bahrain. We had a visitor from Bahrain, the US Centcom chief, who is headquartered there.

Rehman Malik might not have been behind these incidents, but as Interior Minister, he’s responsible. He should be less busy fighting the War on Terror, and focus more on keeping Pakistanis alive, and if Hindu in Pakistan. He was at the Summit, which he probably attended so that he could rush up on his Surah Ikhlas.

Footnote to these notes: Eid means we can go on holiday for a long time. From Jumatul Wida on August 17 to Wednesday, August 22, and then just wangle two days off,  and throw in the weekend, and you can come back from The Village early on Monday morning, August 27. Well, it’s not as if they do any work in government offices the rest of the year.