THIS POST IS MODIFIED FROM A POST FROM MY PREVIOUS BLOG. READ THE ORIGINAL POST HERE
This Ramazan1 morning I sit and reminisce of all those Ramazans spent in Pakistan. Those Sehris2 and Iftaris3 that are stored in my memories with a million stories.
I remember my first ever memory of Ramazan. We were at my grandparents place in Lahore and I was probably 4. I remember discovering my mom gone from our bed in the middle of the night, and how exciting it felt when I followed her one time to find a whole party (or what to me felt like a party at that age) going on as she and my nana nani ate their Sehri. I distinctly remember them getting a fried egg made for me too.
I remember standing in the kitchen bundled up because of the biting cold, supposed to be helping Mama make sehri as she made her famous parathas. I remember those sehris in Islamabad, when Mama was unwell and Papa, Nadiya and I were up for sehri, making and eating our ‘DAWN parathas’ (they were new in those days and had become a family favorite). I remember in Sargodha4 when I would study after Sehri, and Papa would come and check on me before he went back to sleep. And then I remember our last Ramazan together as a family in Wah4. Asif, the boy that worked at our house, used to make Sehri and we ate together as a family, papa having his roti and us our parathas. And then having our tea served on a TV tray and Mama, Papa and I sipped as we watched Aalim Online. And I remember those Iftaris! The luxury of coming to the table right before Iftari and enjoying the most sumptuous of meals. The pakoras, the chaats, the dahi bhales5 have never tasted the same since then.
All of us overseas tend to be nostalgic about Ramazans we spent back home. But as I reminisce, I also realize it’s the people we miss, not the place. It’s the traditions we miss, the full houses. It’s a whole era we miss. When our parents’ homes were our safe havens, when all the people we loved, lived under one roof. And while we were spending those days we never knew how precious those memories will become a few years down the road.
One thing I realized today though, that when we moved and it all changed for us? It changed back home too. And it’s never been the same. Ramazan is the same wherever we are. It is made special only by the people we spend it with.
Praying that all of us are blessed with many many beautifully blessed Ramazans with the ones close to our hearts.
Thanks for reading. Lots of love.
1Ramazan or Ramadan in Arabic is the month of fasting. Muslims all around the world abstain from food etc from dawn to dusk.
2Sehri, also Suhoor in Arabic, is the Urdu word for the meal consumed early in the morning by Muslims before fasting during Ramazan. The meal is eaten before dawn.
3Iftari or Iftar is the meal Muslims eat at sunset to break their fast.
4Sargodha/Wah are smaller cities in Punjab where my dad was posted to during his career.
5Pakoras, chaats, dahi bhales are local dishes that are very popular at Iftar time for Pakistanis.