If you stay home, chances are you'll be watching one or two of the dramas. Or be made to watch one or two. And I've come across families who do their Raya rounds dictated by what time particular dramas are aired on TV.
Some people may argue that the dramas keep people indoors and turn them to be anti-social. The TV chaps argued that their ratings have gone up based on the dramas. And that's good for business, they quickly added.
I've no real complaint about dramas. Inevitably, the plots revolve round the balik kampong theme, filial loyalty, which kampong to go back to this Raya, etc. Most of the dramas were tear jerkers too. The endings were almost predictable, though you may come across some technical flaws in the story line.
The remaining three weeks will see open houses everywhere. You'll get to see the mad rush from one house to another as the invitations come thick and fast. Pak Ya the lemang maker sells about 1,000 lemang a day averaging RM8 per pole. Which explains why he's having such a wonderful Syawal.
Some friends who dropped in open houses of VVIPs (read politicians) came away surprised that they too received RM100 duit raya gifts! And they are not kids and certainly not orphans or disabled. I wonder why they do this. Assuage some sins? Buying influence? Your guess is as good as mine...
(But this can't compare with the giving of pre-Raya duit raya at breaking of fast events hosted by VVIPs!)
But folks, it's back to the grind now! It's still Syawal and the Hari Raya mood is still in the air. But work is work, and there are outstanding tasks to finish. I'm sure some of us would be bringing our cakes and pastries to the office to have mini open house within the department or jist among friends.
The roads in KL are getting congested again. For several days city folks enjoyed free flow of traffic and were were spolit for choice for parking in any part of the city. It's business as usual because a couple of traffic police issued summones to cars parked along yellow lines near Pelita Bangsar! Days before, one can park anywhere without too much of a bother.
While the Raya gave us a few days of despite and shielded us from life's daily toll, I'm afraid today's realities will engulf us again. Rising oil prices will also hit us despite the Government's assurance that there won't be any this year. Highway tolls too are set to be revised upwards.
We'll need to be extra vigilant in the face of rising violent crime; traffic accidents resulting in fatalities have also not declined despite Ops Sikap; and the politicians continue to trade punches as talk of a general election becomes louder.
But I've really enjoyed my Raya. I don't believe Raya is for kids only. As one gets older, every Raya is to be enjoyed and cherished. On that note, I'll light up my bamboo decorative lamps once I get someone to source for some kerosene. Mind you, kerosene is not always available in your neighbourhood sundry shop..