Sunday, September 24, 2006
The first night of Ramadan - the anticipation of a new month... of opportunities, for seeking forgiveness, for renewing the faith and aspiring towards a life on the path of Islam... Just back from the First Tarawih ..
The picture is of Nakhoda Mosque, a 75 year old and perhaps the largest mosque in Eastern India, lit up on the eve of Ramadan. It is a routine to light the lamp at the top of the Minara (Tower) at the time of Iftar every evening to let people from afar know that the time to fast is over. Similarly, for Suhoor the light remains on until Subah Sadiq, after which it is put off. This light based signalling system was used in the olden days when there were not many mosques in the city... reminds me of a similar practice using cannons (!!) in Ajmer to signal the sighting of moon (as well as Suhur and Aftar times) during Ramadan.
During the entire month, there is tremedous Raunaq in this part of th city with some major roads covered into markets selling assorted varieties of dishes for Aftaar and dinner. There are also cloth stalls, Perfume (attar) sellers and cap (topi) sellers who make the environment truly wonderous and memorable.