It’s Eid, but I didn’t know it was. I go to pick up pastries from “The Midwife and the Baker”. And across the street, in an empty corporate parking lot, a group of men are sitting on their janazaan (prayer mats). The morning namaaz hasn’t started yet, this is the prelude. A father and son, about 10-12 years, walk together towards the group. I get reminded of Daddy even though in later years, I hated the lie, and hated going through the fake motions, and have just avoided Eid with my family for a decade now.

It’s Eid, and there’s a global pandemic. Everyone’s wearing masks. And with just their eyes exposed, they just look a little more concerned than normal in this Islamophobic world. I want to shout out “Eid Mubarak”, to show that I understand and empathize, even if I can’t join them. But half of them are praying, and it will just be rude.

It’s Eid, and it’s Ma’s birthday. She’s going to be sad again, ruminating through all the past Eids with Daddy, even if she didn’t particularly like everything back then.

It’s Eid, and I am still an atheist, more strongly convinced about the non-existence of God than ever, and yet somehow becoming more empathetic towards those who believe.