sham columnIt’s that pakora time again!
Firstly, for all those that are observing the holy month of Ramadan, Mubarak to you all.
I took my mum shopping this week and noticed the trolley was full of items not usually purchased in so much quantity normally throughout the year. We’re talking potatoes, onions, peppers, gram flour, sweetcorn, peas, vegetable oil, and the traditional thin square pastry, you know the ones used for making samosay! It soon hit me that of course Ramadan is here and the streets will be full with the smell of frying pakora’s and samosa’s throughout the month. But isn’t it strange how we are being told all the time to eat healthy and look after our bodies yet when the holiest of month arrives when we’re really supposed to focus away from life’s luxuries that we actually do the exact opposite! I mean I can bet you a plate full of mouth watering deep filled samosay with that oh so tantalising chutney (mmmmmmmmmm) that the entire Muslim population within most of the world has increased levels of cholesterol during 30 days of the year!
I mean why is it that probably the most unhealthy of foods is actually cooked in force within every household during this time? What’s funny is I actually took my mum to the doctors the day before and he explicitly told her not to eat oily foods as she has not been so well, yet when I relayed this information to her she just said “puthar, it’s tradition!” So is a heart attack mum!
But the major issue is not the food but the quantity of food that we consume itself! I’ve been to many Iftaar gatherings, some at the local mosques, some at friends or relatives houses, I’ve even been to a few events but I always see the same thing over and over again. I’ve never known people concentrate and look at the clocks and watches so much in my life counting down every second until the time to break the fast. But if you think this is strange you should see how people devour their food like vultures over its prey! What’s funny is you hear no talking just the munch and squelch of different types of food being chewed and chomped with the odd expression of relief and contentment. Now admittedly fasting is hard, especially within the summer months.
For those that work all day it can be extremely draining so respect where it’s due. However, the whole point of fasting is not to starve yourself and then eat so much that you can hardly move. I’ve seen people really struggling to walk after eating, so much so that they have to sit down with their legs wide open just to breathe!
It gets better at the night prayer (tarawih). It’s so funny with all these people at the mosques rolling in all with the same ‘I’m so stuffed I can’t pray’ expressions, yes this includes me! When the call to prayer starts you see people struggle to their feet, some take their time and only just make it, others do some stretching like their about to enter a race! But the worst has to be when you’re stood next to Uncle Jee and in the middle of the prayer he lets out one mother or a burp! I mean you can actually taste the flipping food he’s eaten! Oh but it gets better… As you turn slightly away from the smell, the chap on the other side suddenly lets one rip too and hits your face like a wet slap! Come on!!! There’s no escape you just have to either hold your breath or just take it.
Anyway my dear readers, I hope & pray that you all have a blessed month but try take it easy with the pakoray and lets not stuff our faces, lets have a little think about those who don’t get to eat eh!