Saturday, September 23, 2006

Fasting starting tomorrow

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!!

7 comments:

Shaykhspeara Sha'ira said...

Iftaar on the Road! not a bad concept. So you mean Pakistan is fasting on Sunday?

I always keep dates in my pocket or bag wrapped in tin foil. One never knows if one will make it home in time or not.

Syed Sibgatullah said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Syed Sibgatullah said...

Yes, there are quite a lot of people nowadays who fail to make it to their homes, so they have to break their fast on the road. Infact, it's becoming more and more common, thanks to the changing attitudes towards shopping, the worsening traffic and a lot of other factors.

At the moment I wrote this post, Pakistan did expect to start Ramadan on Sunday, but now it's past Ish'a time and there's no news of a moon sighting from almost anywhere in the country. So it seems that the 1st of Ramadan may officially move to Monday. But you never know of this country. I mean there can always be a chance of an announcement in the middle of the night that Ramadan is starting from tomorrow (Sunday). Atleast this has happened quite a number of time with the Eid moon sighting.

Shaykhspeara Sha'ira said...

Monday even? so there will be perhaps even three different Eids this year... well what can I say...

Syed Sibgatullah said...

Yes, Ramazan's now off to Monday in Pakistan!!

kaya said...

Its all a bit strange really. Even at Hajj, when Eid should be next day, many of the sub con countries are doing it a day or 2 later.
Everyone should follow Saudia and thats it.
Bewakoofi hai aur kuch nahi.
the Bohri's follow a calendar and have it all sorted out, every year.

Shaykhspeara Sha'ira said...

Well I mean every year is the same and one can't help but wonder if there are political reasons behind the differences...