Monday, August 1, 2011

Food

Anand Nagar  (Happiness Town) is the name of the neighbourhood where my house (my parents house) was, before I got married. My parents must have moved half a dozen times between the time I was born and the time when I went to Junior High. Although my father was an accountant he loved construction work. He would buy a house, renovate it and then sell it. My mother did not want to sell our house in Anand Nagar because it was a very pretty place, beautiful flowering plants and fruit trees, a huge prairie in the valley of Banjara Hills (now a lot of Bollywood Actors have built their vacation homes there). When we first moved there my parents friends and some of our relatives were worried for us because besides one more family, we were the only Muslims there. My father always believed that we need to be a good human being (maumin) before we can be a good Muslim. Being scared of other human beings (even though they are not from our faith) is not a good way of starting off as a good human being.
Today on the first day of Ramadan (we say Ramazan), I remember all of this because Ramadan is a month of sharing and caring, more than anything else. In this month we fast all through the day (sunrise to sunset), refrain from all kinds of pleasures and give charity. People who have health problems, travelers, pregnant mothers, nursing mothers and kids under fourteen years of age are exempted. We can opt to feed a meal a day to someone everytime we miss a day of fast when we are fourteen or older and have medical condition. My father did not fast becuase he would become lethargic and would be in danger of passing out if he did not eat every couple of hours. Today this condition is called hypoglycemia. Therefore my mother would give someone a meal a day, to take home and enjoy. That gentleman was not of our faith. In spite of a lot of criticism my mother did not care. Her answer would always be, "he is a human being first, then a believer in whatever faith he belongs to."

15 comments:

oceangirl said...

charity is to be given to the poor and needy, not poor believer and needy believer.

ramadan mubarak to you and family from this family on the other side of the world.

Shelly said...

I loved reading about your memories from when you were growing up. Your home sounds truly lovely.

yaya said...

I love learning about other religions. I love seeing how alike we all are in our faiths and our efforts to do good and kind deeds no matter where we are from or what our religion is. Fasting takes much discipline. We fast for 24hrs. the first Sunday of every month and then donate the money we saved from not eating to our Church's welfare system to help feed those in need. It sounds like you were raised by loving and caring parents. I hope this is a good week for you!

Michael Offutt said...

Your house and neighborhood sound beautiful. I don't know much about Bollywood aside from a few shows that I've seen here in the states. Quality stuff comes out of India. I do know that India is the largest producer of film in the world and has been for decades.

Michael Offutt said...

Oh and thanks for the wellwishes. One more thing...I love the little slices of your faith that you share with us on your blog. I think I could use with some fasting because I snack too much.

Belle said...

What a beautiful story to share! I did not know Ramadan was about sharing and caring. How wonderful! You are a very caring person, your parents taught you well.

Arlee Bird said...

"Happiness Town" sounds like a wonderful place to live.


Lee
Tossing It Out

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Munir .. always good to hear about the 'old days' .. and your life growing up. I too know little about your faith .. so was interested to read more about it here .. Sharing and Caring - you're so right, especially in this day and age ..

Be at peace this month .. with thoughts .. Hilary

Ann said...

Thank you for sharing that wonderful memory. Your mother and father's attitude towards their fellow man/woman is one of great example. Pity there are not more who would follow that example.

I wish you a peaceful and holy Ramadam.

LynNerd said...

Hello Munir - So nice to meet you. Thank you for stopping by my blog the other day. I love this post and I love the way your parents brought you up and their beliefs. I agree with you mom about giving to another who's a different faith. We're all part of the human race and should help others who need us. We moved around a lot when I was a kid, too. I went to three different third grades, and we moved across the U.S. it's easier to move around when you're little than when you get closer to the teenage years. Fasting takes so much discipline. Wishing you the best this Ramadan.

LynNerd said...

Hi Munir,

Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment on my blog. I left a reply, but just in case you don't read it, on the right side of my blog, just above the pictures of all the followers, it says, "Join this site." If you click on that, it's the same as "Following." I'm new to blogging, so I don't know when they changed the wording. I also have a window in the footer of my blog where you can sign up to follow by email. I'm still learning all this blogging stuff!

Bica said...

Hello Munir,
I haven't visited a lot of blogs, yet, and it was nice to see a comment from you on mine. I've read through some of your posts, and have very much enjoyed reading your thoughts. I look forward to reading more!

Mariette said...

Dear Munir,

As we've lived and worked for some three years in the biggest Muslim country in the world, we of course are very familiar with the Ramadan.
Wishing you a great weekend ahead!

Sincerely,

Mariette

Monalisa said...

Hi,

i've been little away from blogger due to inconveniences. I'll email you once I get back my notebook, and that'll be in a month God willing. Take good care, and do remember me. I love you.

mika said...

hi ,your blog and photos so nice i like it , i think its so nice memories ,here even we -christians in egypt- celebrate with muslims there with it, sweet times to make the families together
happy Ramadan or as we say in egypt Ramadan karim :)
Mika