• Sat. Nov 26th, 2022

Minds in service, hearts left at home

ByMary M. Ward

May 2, 2022

More often than not, professional commitment deprives Bangladeshi athletes of the opportunity to savor festive occasions with their families or loved ones. Although domestic cricketers are believed to be those most likely to spend Eid away from home, it is not uncommon for players from other disciplines to too. Weightlifter Mabia Akter Simanta and archer Diya Siddique experienced staying abroad over Eid, and both struggled to recall fond memories of such occasions.

“I was out of Bangladesh in 2018 but Eid didn’t feel like Eid. I took a new dress to put on for the occasion but I didn’t feel like it because I missed my dad. Then I realized the importance of being with family members,” recalls Mabia, who archer Diya resonates with.

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“Last year, I had to participate in the Tokyo Olympics during Eid, and it was pretty much colorless because everyone went to play there. By video call, I contacted the members of my family, and that’s it,” Diya said. Mabia, a gold medalist at the 2016 South Asian Games, went through hardship in her early days, after which success changed the landscape of her life.

“When I was a child, I was content with what my father bought me, but now I can buy almost anything I want. Still, I miss going to the market with my father before Eid during Ramadan” , Mabia said as she moved. to share an Eid-related anecdote that she finds amusing. “I don’t know if it can be described as a fun experience or not, that I have to buy clothes at higher prices during Eid holidays. Traders say, ‘Apu, you have the ability, so why won’t you give us?’

“For example, I end up buying a dress with 2,500 taka, which can be bought for 2,000 taka,” added Mabia, who has been training hard lately to regain her fitness since the coronavirus-induced lockdowns left her. had taken a long time.

On the bright side, the pandemic has brought positives for the weightlifter as she could be with her family during Eid.

“I had to prepare well before Eid and during the lockdowns because since the start of my career 12 years ago, I have never had so many opportunities to be with my family. Now I am in the camp for the Commonwealth Games, starting next July, and focusing more on my training,” she explained.

[Related read: Everyone becomes a cricket expert during Eid, where Bangladesh women’s cricket team captain shares her Eid-related experience]

Diya, who became an Olympian in 2021 in Tokyo, is also focusing more on training than planning for Eid, as she is due to travel to Iraq to compete in a tournament the first week of next month. “I will not be able to return home to celebrate the occasion with my family members. I have a trial just before Eid and I will leave Bangladesh for Iraq to participate in stage 2 of the ranking tournament 2022 Asian Cup World Cup.”

Diya does her best to hold her head high when tours overlap with festivals. However, she is one of many people who feels that Eid’s charm isn’t quite the same as when he was a child.

“I try to entertain myself and stay happy and smiling while I’m away. But Eid in childhood was too much fun, and those moments can’t be replaced by any other means,” said the teenager, who has clinched silver at the Archery World Cup last year to create Bangladeshi history.

[Related read: My Eid starts soon after I reach home – based on footballer Jibon’s side of things]

[Related read: The many shades of Eid – focuses on the Tigers’ point of view]