There was news on television yesterday that the Ramadan moon had been sighted in Saudi Arabia (the country we in Pakistan so much love to follow in affairs of religion, but can't keep ourselves from messing up with it) and that fasting was to start there from today i.e. Saturday. So this makes us to believe that fasting would start here from tomorrow.
In the days leading to Ramadan, there's a lot of activity witnessed both inside and outside of homes. Infact, my mom took a week off, ending today, from her job for the sake of Ramadan preparations (similar to Eid preparations :)). She selected one day to send my father off to the market to fetch stuff that would see the family through with the holy month. A day was selected to partly prepare for Eid too by going to the bazaar to get clothing for the Eid and Jummatul - Wida (last Friday of the holy month of Ramadan) days. Similar activities have been undertaken in other homes too. Remembering the Ramadan days of the past nostalgically once, my mother remarked that times have now changed because of the incresingly fast paced life. She complained that people now don't have enough time on their hands. She remembered that when she was young, a number of mohalla (neighbourhood) ladies would gather together to form a group to discuss their needs for the month and one or two of them would volunteer to venture to one of the city markets to buy stuff for all (the purchases obviously having been prepaid). One of the thing common in the vast suggestions about places to shop from was laloo khet (the Liaquatabad area in Karachi) for foodstuff.
I believe that how much life may have become dissimilar to the past, one thing remains all too common and special: that Ramadan brings with it such a fervour and a general sense of courtesy to the people that is just not visible during any other time of the year.
But this time, we Karachiites expect a hell lot of mayhem in our city. Already, the city's infrastructure is chronically defficient to cater to increased loads and there we have a huge mess in the shape of traffic snarls and broken and under construction roads. Therefore, we expect to end a great number of fasts on the roads.
And have you ever gone through the experience of openeing a fast on the road, specially in Karachi? OMG!! it's one of it's kind of an experience. I remember last year getting stuck up at the Teen Hatti intersection. I was invited to an Iftar party by a friend who resides in Nazimabad and was on my way to his place. The chaos started right after Asr prayers and ended up well after Maghrib prayers. I remember Iftari being offered to me by one of the flower sellers lining Jehangir Road. At another instance, I got stuck up near Nagan Chowrangi. The former came only out of the blue but during the latter occurrence, I had - guess what? - dates in my pockets :) .
Anyways, wishing you a very blissfull and blessed Ramazan!!