Monday, August 24, 2009

Bracing for Ramadhan

Early this morning my father sent me this e-mail from Pakistan with his thoughts on the beginning of this holy month and I thought I would share this with all of you.

We are on the verge of starting Ramadan ( This use to be Ramazan before I got my Arabic corrected by my friend who use to be called Zafar, and is now called Dafar as in Arabic there is no Zees) , the month of blessings and for some odd reason I am feeling depressed.

It hell here in Pakistan, during Ramadan.

Where I live there is a mosque, which conducts the " Mullas Got Talant" a reality show, every Ramadan. At about 2 in the morning the contest starts with recitation of various naats and humds, by various contestants, and this live show stays on till Sehri times. You could not tell if the guy who reciting is enjoying the experience or shouting in pain, the words are hardly comprehendable and it is the tune that gives away to the naat or humd that is being sung out. I would prefer howling of the wolves if I had an option.

Then there is this joker who has taken on him to waking people up for Sehri with a loud drum. This guy has a voice that that would draw dead from there graves.

I am not a Sehri person, and like to sleep through this earlier than early morning meal. So for me this is pure torture. Just thinking of this send shivers down my spine.

Starting the day with an over dose of faith delivered through loud speakers by aspirants who want to land in Junnat, and an idiot who would get through the audition of " Wake up the Zombies" . I dread the traffic I would find on way to work.

It is not that there is no traffic on regular days, during regular months. But in Ramadan this comes with a twist, every body is so up-there with all the worship and spiritualisms and renewed faith that comes with in that the normally rude, mis-behaving, aggressive and abusive Pakistani archives the next level and becomes extremely intolerant, ultra abusive and totally crazy, and this is just 0800 hr and the day is just beginning.

By noon the the show of temper by the blaring of horns, the jumping of traffic lights and the general aggressive attitude will only increase.

The culminating point will come at Iftar, people would be rushing back as if death is following them. There will be no regard for law, traffic rules, personal safety, care for the weak and old, care for poor and unprivileged. People just rush their way through regardless.

And there are those who want to serve with iftari to the pious rozadars who has been sleeping on work, fighting with people, profit gorging by first hoarding commodities before the blessed month of Ramadan and then selling them at phenomenal margins .

Like all other events and acts this act of charity is also be carried out with utterly insensitive to any thing sensible, it will be mis-manages and grossly disruptive. Traffic will be blocked for miles, people will jam the guys giving out iftari. Their will be no hint of any discipline, self control or sense of spiritual calm that roza is suppose to inspire.

Screw the guy who is held up in an ambulance some where down the road, with drivers abandoning the vehicles in the middle of the road and running to the aftari table set up on the road next to an intersection, poised in a manner to do maximum damage.

Then comes the event of Taravi, people will rush to mosques, will get there by jumping traffic lights and driving recklessly and will park cars all over the place, blocking streets and cause traffic jams. Some will go to shopping centers where they will create more chaos by being insensitive to the needs of other and hence the day will end,

Again at 2 in the morning another day in this holy month will start, with "Guess who has talent" show.

The only good thing about Ramadan are the charity drive organized to help the poor and the sick, by people like Dr Adeeb Rizvi, Imran Khan and Edhi.

So pray for me that I may get through this month with my brains and faith in tact.

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