Friday, September 12, 2008

Feasting..err Fasting In Ramadan

I closed my eyes, took a deep breath, put one foot in front of the other and cautiously stepped on. I said a mini prayer or two and slowly opened my eyes. A sigh of relief. Nothing. I didn't gain a single pound. I quickly thank God Almighty and get off. Despite fasting from dawn to dusk, I feel like a big ball of pure fat.

Ramadan is to thank for that. Just kidding. But when we break our fast, my eyes grow bigger than my stomach and I can't control what I put on my plate. I'll have a little sample of everything, I tell myself. I sound like I take plates and plates of food, but I only fill one plate. One meal a day. Even though it is recommended that we eat before dawn, I get hungrier during the day if I eat {I'm pretty shaky from hunger by 11 AM}.

One of the reasons why we fast is to try to feel what it is like to go hungry. Some people out there don't know when their next meal will be or whether it'll be out of a garbage dump or not {Living in a third world country I unfortunately have witnessed this}. Instead people pig out before dawn so they won't feel hungry and then pig out even more at dusk to "compensate" for all the energy used.

Ramadan food. Ahhh. What is cooked at the blessed hour of breaking our fast is the problem.* This is why:

  1. Indians like to fry vegetables in batter {Bhajiye}.
  2. Then we fry some other stuff {I thinkit's lentil/legume based??} and dunk that in yogurt {Dahi Baday}.
  3. Can't forget the Rooh Afza. It's milk, sugar, and this really sugary rose syrup.
  4. And fruit. We can't go without fruit. Topped with a few tablespoons of sugar along with other spices. It's sweet but also has a bite to it.

So there you have it: we have our fruits, vegetables, dairy and carbohydrates all rolled into one meal topped with lots and lots of sugar and fat. In my family these four things are served almost every day. And we get sick of it. But if one of the items is not present the meal seems incomplete. "Mamma!! Why aren't there any Bhajiye?" "Uhh..because you never ever eat them when I make them?" "I feel so..empty inside" *stifles a cry* This is the bare minimum. There are usually one or two more other things present since we don't eat another meal after {some families have a very light meal and then dinner later}. Most people become really gluttonous by the time dusk comes around and end up gaining quite a bit of weight in Ramadan rather than losing.

There's this quote by Rumi that comes to mind every Ramadan:

Hungry, you're a dog, angry and bad-natured. Having eaten your fill, you
become a carcass; you lie down like a wall, senseless. At one time a dog, at
another time a carcass, how will you run with lions, or follow the saints?

Let's do a grand weigh-in at the end of the month and see how fat we've all gotten. OR let's see how many of us can learn self control and eat just until we aren't hungry; maybe even shed a few pounds if we need to? I am pretty fair-skinned for an Indian and for some reason my cheeks get this natural blush when I gain weight. I love the color red. But I don't want to look like Santa. I think this is one more goal I'm adding to my list. If I don't add it I won't do it. I like lists. :D

* This "Ramadan food" I speak of isn't any special food that has to be eaten during the month. You can pretty much eat anything you want but these foods are especially cooked in Ramadan in India and by Indians.


Constructive Attitude said...

oh em gee at your intro. when i was reading that i rolled my eyes, just to let you know.

Everything else you said though was true and makes sense. I like that quote by Rumi, but I dont quite get the end. (It's always somethign about his quotes that I just dont understand yo)

Artistic Logic said...

i rolled my eyes too

and u eating a lot lol.... a little sample sounds more right....
and sadly i've seen it here too, the part you said about not knowing where the meal will be from a garbage dump or not... its not just in 3rd world countries....

i donno but i feel like my stomach shrinks in Ramadan, I can't eat much when its iftar time... i usually PLAN to eat a lot of stuff haha but I don't... its just a natural mechanism i guess....

CA said...

love the quote yo
CA needs help...understanding any type of poetry