Disclaimer: As a converted Muslim, my experiences with Islam are rather new. My newly found love, faith and peace of heart, I cherish. Still, my perspective is a bit out of place, like a shellfish in the trees.
Ramadan is the month of praying and fasting for Muslims. We observe fasts for a lunar month where we abstain from food and water starting an hour before sunrise till after sunset (12-17 hours). It is meant to help us connect with the Almighty, and also, to heal our body from the damage done by the daily assault of cooked food.
Ideally: After a day of fasting:
- When I’d break my fast with dates and 2 glasses of water, it’d cleanse my system and heal it.
- After I had offered prayers, I’d eat very light food, and my body would concentrate its efforts at healing me, rather than digesting fried chicken.
- Healing would continue all night, so that by the end of the month, the vehicle of my soul is a newly-polished limousine rather than the cluttered, rusty truck I had made it through the year.
Reality: After a day of fasting:
- When I break my fast with processed dates and lemon sherbet, both of which contain refined sugar (that in turn contains fluoride), my system absorbs the chemicals at lightening speed. My rusty old truck is now purring with excitement.
- Then I eat fruit salad, that also contains refined sugar, refined sea-salt (sodium), and fruits (grown using chemicals to ripen them overnight to cover the demand during Ramadan). The rust now turns a darker shade of red.
- Then I continue eating fried potatoes and onion pakodas, fried chickpea… Combined with digestive sauce containing refined sea-salt, the food spikes the purring of my (heart) engine to a racing-car level.
- I have to pray, so I try to stop, but hey, who will eat the lamb chops?
- And wasting biryani is a sacrilege I shall never be blamed of…and the vehicle of my soul, already cluttered, has no space for my soul to sit in.
- I’m thirsty after the day-long fast but I can’t make the space for two glasses of water. So, I settle for a cup of brown tea with refined sugar and a spot of milk–acidic but heavenly.
- Now, my engine has collapsed. Acceleration of any kind leaves me dizzy. Like a zombie, the vehicle of my soul drags along during the prayers, whirring complains of how the ‘lack of food’ has left me weak at knees.
- By the end of the month, I am a bigger, rustier truck with a failing engine and full to brim with the clutter I have collected during the food orgy I lovingly call ‘fasting’. My soul opens the door to fit itself in, and hangs in there with the help of more medicines than usual, throwing up every now and then because of the stuffiness, and reminds itself to go slow next year.
If only, I’d remember.