4 awkward truths about Ramazan we don't really talk about

4 awkward truths about Ramazan we don't really talk about

Can we take a closer look at what's going on here?
Updated 11 Jun, 2017

It’s Ramazan!

It comes every year amidst great aplomb and joy. Billions of people come together to join in a period of fasting and prayer in the hope of building patience and gaining peace while spreading tolerance and love.

But there are certain trends that appear only in Ramazan that make life slightly... awkward.

Here’s my list:

1) Without really moving, we end up in an Arab land

Now, this is not in reference to anyone in particular. This is about how a space-time transformation can take place before you’ve even blinked.

One night you’re out with friends partying, enjoying a fabulous dinner and swaying to the trendiest beats. You look around and since it’s summer you see lots of dresses, cold shoulder tops, tight jeans and funky t-shirts. You look up and someone says “chaand nazar agaya!” (Whether our official moon-sighting group has seen or not doesn’t matter.)

It may not quite be the blue moon one dreams of but the one that says Ramazan has arrived in Pakistan – after the rest of the world that is. And what do you know? You look around and the hipster beards have been transformed into religious beards (if that is even a fashion term), abayas and hijabs are suddenly presented like loose waves of cloth and donned, our traditional salam becomes a longer version and our language isn’t ours anymore.

Suhoor, Adhaan, Salah become everyday words and you're left wondering that why no on ever asked you to come along to the ‘How to be an Arab’ course.

2) Tomorrow never comes. Apparently

This is for the pre-iftar shopping.

Can we really eat this much?
Can we really eat this much?

Looking around you in even a basic grocery store, you'd think instead of fasting our people are entering into a month-long competition for ‘Who Can Eat More’.

And the worry is stores will run out of food. Aunties are seen frantically yelling at already-harrassed grocery store workers for ‘Ghee! Atta! Cheenee!’ Bhutto clearly had it wrong when he said ‘Roti, Kapra, Makaan’.

Probably explains the PPP’s political end. Anyway all year round one hears about the need to get fit, the gymming syndrome that has gripped our urbanites and the healthy menus that one is served at cafes and restaurants (whatever happened to a good old greasy burger?) only to see everything collapsing under the weight of five crates of fizzy drinks and boxes of frozen nuggets piled high on a trolley that is creaking under the weight of fifteen murghis, three bags of 5kg of rice and several huge tubs of ice cream. Not to mention the ghee, atta and cheenee...

And this is all one week’s ration. Happy fasting? Happy feasting!

3) A breath of fresh air... is pretty rare

It’s rude to ask someone if they’re fasting. In fact I don’t even want to know. Why? Because Dylan summed it up when he said the answer was blowing in the wind.

Just one whiff of the air coming out of your mouth and I’ll know. Unwittingly at times.

You know, I get it, the lack of water and food makes your mouth dry and the lack of saliva doesn’t help your breath.

But come on! And while we’re at it how about we keep the gasping and sighing to a limit? Not to mention work on speaking without actually moving our mouths. Working as a ventriloquist can make a pretty living in this part of the world. And it’d save the rest of us from finding the truth out there blowing in the wind and it most certainly is not the kind of summer wind Frank Sinatra serenaded us with.

4) Materialism lives on

For a month so spiritual we're lost in too much materialism
For a month so spiritual we're lost in too much materialism

Yes I am looking at you, you lawn corrupting fatcats and I most certainly do not mean the feline creatures defecating in my garden.

Yep, I am talking about lawn joras that cost more than my monthly budget and the Ramazan sales that lure one into a shopping frenzy. When did lawn become a luxury item? It’s a necessity in this part of the world! But I suppose if ever there was a lethal combination it is undoubtedly when capitalism meets religion... I can hear the fatcats purring with delight as little cogs like us grease their machinery and oil their fancy cars with our hard earned pennies.

And what about the iftar parties? When did they become a talking point of who served what and where? All that money spent on feeding the… well fed. I suppose that justifies the grocery shopping. Ramzan being the month of charity and all…