The Mixed

By Nilofer Sultana
Rawalpindi, Pakistan


By the grace of almighty Allah, I have had plenty of chances of spending my Ramadans and Eids both in the USA and Pakistan. The Pakistanis living in the USA would bear me out that they show an unusual fervor and enthusiasm during Ramadan, the month of blessings. The Iftar parties are a frequent affair. Most of the Pakistanis who observe fasts in a true Islamic spirit welcome their friends to their houses and acquaintances for sumptuous Iftar dinners. Mostly the Iftar parties are held on collective or individual basis in the mosques where the atmosphere is charged with feelings of togetherness, closeness and a rare bondage of love among the Muslims. Those away from their homeland undoubtedly miss their parents, siblings and friends back home. But they are definitely not engulfed in the emptiness of loneliness when their country men and women from diverse regions of Pakistan are around them. After the Eid congregational prayers and khutba in the mosque, they exchange hearty Eid greetings. I have personally relished the festivities of chand raat, organized by the ardent ones in the Pakistani community. It is exhilarating to watch women lining up for exotic henna designs on their hands. Now coming to the shady side of the picture, the Ramadan and Eid scenario in our homeland is not as rosy and colorful as it used to be a few years back. One nostalgically recollects with aching hearts the days when Ramadan meant a frequent joyful get-together for the relatives, when Eid preparations commenced days in advance of the occasion. Now the monster of hyper-inflation has gobbled up the joyous thrill associated with Ramadan and Eid. The lawlessness pervading the atmosphere, the frequent events of purse snatching by the motor bike riders, have made Eid shopping a nightmarish experience. The joyful experiences of chand raat are disappearing like the fading moonbeams. How can the vermicelli or ‘sawwayian’ be cooked when sugar is missing from the market like the proverbial teeth of a hen. Still the resilient patients and brave citizens cling to their hopes and try to wreak moments of happiness and blissfulness from Ramadan and Eid. In our faith disappointment is a sin. Pakistanis admittedly are great people. They face crises dauntlessly. They showed their courage during the earthquake of 2005 and the Taliban crisis in Swat. They believe good times follow the bad ones; there is always hope for a better tomorrow and ‘if winter comes, can spring be far behind?’ The Pakistanis living in the USA definitely have prayerful greetings to offer to the people of their homeland.


Editor: Akhtar M. Faruqui
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