[For a school going me Ramadan was: A short love story between FOOD and I]
Few things almost everyone who’s now a grown-up might have faced during his school days… Hmm, and this makes me wonder, what do the kids of today talk about in school….. probably not what we used to discuss.
1. Fasting or Not Fasting:
Dive into your past, In flashbacks, you’ll see the moment you would step into your school all your friends would gather around you and ask if you’re fasting or not. If no was your answer you were in for it-they would all cast scornful glances at you- and you would feel like the most worthless being in the whole wide world and got the most ugliest vibes from being around the PIOUS ONES all day.
YOU in your defense at those disconcerting moments:
2. How Many Roza’s so far?
As the month moved towards its end, the most frequently asked question used to be
“Kitney rozey rakhey tumne?”
All those times the FLAUNTING FOOLS used to be like:
[With an air of conceit and superiority]
3. Quran Completion competition:
You would compete with your siblings and your best friend struggling to leave them behind in the competition of recitation of Paras, and when you would see your sister is two chapters ahead of you in the competition, you’d fight hard to leave her behind.
Silly it seems but in my story it’s true, I remember there was this one time when I recited 5 and a half chapters of QURAN in one sitting on a Sunday morning when the rest stacked z’s because my sister and brother were leading me by 3 paras, and MISSION ACCOMPLISHED! *I took the lead*
4. You’re in Grade five, still never observed fasting?
I remember how your class fellows would look down their nose at you just because your parents won’t assent your fasting till they thought you fit for the job.
The ROZADARS to THE KHOJADARS: tum 5th class main ho aur abhi tak roza nahi rakha kabhi? o.O
YOU: *literally embarrassed and wanting to subdue the unease you felt inside looking at the floor between your feet, wishing the earth to engulf you the very moment*
“Yar ami nahi rakhwatin abhi rozey, main boht choti hun abhi.”
And on your return from school how you would cry over “THE MORTIFYING MOMENT” you had to go through back at school that day, beseeching your mother to let you fast the next day, but all your weeping and whining in vain.
5. Eating before a person who’s fasting is an unpardonable sin:
Half my class started fasting before I did, and accustomed as I was of toting a lunch box to my school I had to bear the resentment and criticism of almost all the rozadars in my class
THEM NEIK PARVEENS: *Growling and grumbling at the KHOJAYDARS*
“Sharam nahi aati rozadaaro k samney lunch kartey hue?”
6. Don’t utter profanities or you’ll break your fast:
Me: This rickshaw driver of mine is such a JERK, KAMINA kahin ka, I got to school so late again, owing to his goofiness, qasam se aaj to main shikayat karungi ghar ja k is fazul insan ki..
Others: *With their eyes wide open and jaws dropped and putting their hands over their mouths*
“OMG, its Ramadan how can you swear at this time of the year, your roza went wasted.REPENT O YOU SINNER!”
YOU: *gulp* Yar be-dehani main bola gaya sab. I almost forgot I’m fasting. YA ALLAH MUJHE MAAF KARDENA!”
7. What did you Pray last night?
Looking back to your school era you’ll find yourself and some friend of yours boasting about their performed IBADAH during the odd nights of last ten days of Ramadan, quantity was all that mattered to us at that time.
Your friend: How many nawafil did you pray last night?
And next she would sing her list of performed Ibadah before you, and If she had prayed less than you, you would*exultantly* state yours:
“Hah, beat you this time, I prayed 50 nawafil and much more.”
(Because last year she was the one who said the same, and you had secretly taken that as a challenge)
8. Aftari was the part of the month that interested you the most:
You knew when you would fast your mother would cook up a storm, set the table with delicacies of all sorts. Honestly I used to fast for the very reason that I could get a chance to bolt down my favorite most dishes. Some dumb girls at school even discussed what they had in aftari the past day. *I was a part of that GLUTTONY GANG in my school years though.Does that make me dumb?*
9. When iftaar-parties were all fun:
As a grown up when your mom fixes the iftar or suhoor you necessarily have to lend her a hand in preparing both. Conversely when you were younger she used to be like:
“Do not come near the stove or you’d be admitted to the hospital for a 3rd degree burn.”
Those days for you An Iftar party was the name of “A whole lot of food and fun with your cousins and friends who were to be at your place for Iftar” And now the burn scars on your hands speak volumes about the ill-treatment they endure i.e. frying the pakoras and all for Iftar. No matter how great a work avoider you are your mothers will still manage to drag you into the kitchen with her some way even if it’s just A JUG OF ROOH-AFZA she wants you to make.
10. The Roza-kushai ritual:
Every now and then you would hear a friend or a cousin fasted for the first time in his life, and “YOU ARE ALSO INVITED” for the iftar at theirs.The whole family and friends would conjure up at a single spot to make this event memorable . And the kid would feel like the most VVIP person on planet earth for the entire evening garnering all the DUAS, and attention yes not to forget an awful lot of gifts that evening.
P.s. DAAMMMMNNNNNN, I miss my childhood!! :’(