Ramazan: “I can’t eat, so neither should you!”

I probably committed an unpardonable sin just by typing the traditional, South-Asian word “ramazan”, as opposed to the Arabic word “ramadan”. Since the wave of Arabization in the late 70’s, many of our Urdu terms have been replaced with their Arabic equivalents because Arabs are incidentally “more-Muslim-than-thou”.

Ramazan is that joyous time of the year where Muslims do me the colossal favor of not eating and drinking from dawn till dusk. Yes, it’s a personal favor to the non-Muslims, judging from what they expect of us during this month. I cannot eat a sandwich in a public place without inviting an angry stare. Some are even kind enough to approach me and remind me of how insensitive it is to eat food in front of the “rozaydars” (fasting Muslims).

Considering the hypoglycemic state that rozaydars are generally in, and understanding that hypoglycemia provokes irritability and aggression, I avoid engaging such a person in a rational debate. I put the sandwich down, and slowly move away from it till the expression on my fellow citizen’s face lightens.

What I’d really like, though, is to confront them about their own insensitivity in believing that I have to relinquish my rights because they decided that God wants them to be hungry and thirsty. I don’t tell them what they can and cannot eat, and I would appreciate some reciprocity. But no. I’m the insensitive ass who is ruining a devout man’s roza if I start eating, talk about eating, or even think about eating.

It’s not fair for non-Muslims to get caught in the crossfire of your religious beliefs. I go to a movie theater and the concession stand is closed because it’s Ramazan. I bought some burgers at McDonalds, but as a I sat down to eat with my little cousins, I was asked by an employee to leave. “We’re serving takeaway meals only, sir!”. Most food joints remain closed throughout the day, opening up only after sunset, when they’re packed with hungry Muslims over-compensating for their roughly 12 hours of abstinence from food and drink.

Tempers are high, and productivity is low throughout the holy month. Working hours are usually shorter. And even during those working hours, efficiency is much lower. Back in college, the students would be even less interested than usual in the daily lectures, citing “roza” as a cause of their stupor. They are fully aware of the hazards. But when I state the obvious about Ramazan causing people to be less productive, I usually cause quite an uproar. Such dishonesty is appalling.

In a city full of irritable people, angry motorists, and ravenous, unruly crowds in restaurants at the time of Iftar, I’ve gathered enough food to allow me to stay inside my house for the entire month. It’s chaos out there, and I’d rather not be a part of it.  Hmm…isn’t that fitting? I’ve heard “Satan remains shackled throughout the month of Ramazan”.

(Note: That last bit was a joke. Atheists don’t worship Satan, nor are they satans themselves, contrary to what many Pakistanis believe. Had to point that out.)

    • Big Rizvi
    • July 24th, 2012

    To be very frank. These are all my views in a nut shell about this ‘holy month’. Ramazan is supposed to teach tolerance, not malice. If somebody redicules me for eating in front of people in Ramadan or not fasting, I am like “Yeah, so what? I am already going to hell in every religion. So much that I even rented an apartment there. Who knows when I die, I might actually end up in Hell, Michigan instead of the typical Hell (you never know).” I am a 17 year old and I must say, I love all your blog entries. I have a view on religion just like yours. But I am not ashamed to express it and am not afraid of the consequences either.

    • Thank you. It’s a relief knowing that there are many people out there who cannot easily be blackmailed by hell into following a certain ideology, but rather choose to think for themselves.

      What this country needs is a basic course on critical thinking.

    • Big Rizvi
    • July 24th, 2012

    No joke. I live in Pakistan.

    • amsview
    • July 25th, 2012

    Man i love your every blog its just the way i think….

    I dont know when will people start using their own brains instead of Mulla feed junk. I mean frankly what’s the point of doing fasting when you know for sure that after ten or twelve hours you gonna be having this awesome gourmet dinner, that’s no way to show empathy towards poor/hungry.

    This country is going down drain unless somehow we manage to reduce this religious influence among masses, until its effecting no one expect themselves and other thing would be population control.

    Anyways, keep up the good work!

    • tintin
    • August 14th, 2012

    I can totally relate to it as I don’t fast cuz I’m not that religious and it really really pisses me off watching people complaining all the time during ramzan and to piss them off what I do is eat infront of them in my class lol which is why I’m like an outcast in my college now…… anyway I’m glad that we have people in our society with open minds like you or the people who are commenting on your blog but why is it that I dont get to have friends like them in real….BTW I didn’t like your other posts criticizing “women” or “feminists” in general as I consider myself a feminist too yo B-) and I somehow found it offensive…,

    P.S : Don’t hate too much cuz life is short and beautiful..tada

    • Thank you.

      I didn’t criticize “women”, by the way. I’m a feminist myself, as I’ve repeatedly mentioned in my posts. My rants are specific for the modern, third-wave feminism (especially certain pockets of it with exceptionally misandric perspectives).

      I cannot possible agree more with the “don’t hate” part. My blog is where I relieve myself by unloading my rage, which I cannot do in real life for the fear of being lynched, or at least ostracized.

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