The moon sighting has ushered in Eid. So, before I vent my agony, Eid Mubarak to all those reading this piece!
While Eid has brought many of you reasons to celebrate and eat like there is no tomorrow, I must take this opportunity to reveal one of the greatest complaints I live with.
I have never been invited to an iftar party.
There have been invitations for weddings that I didn’t want to attend, late night parties that I eagerly went to, even birthday parties of the kids of friends that I’ll never be sure I like or not. But the iftar invitation has somehow never come my way.
Many iftars have come and gone, my invitation is still awaited. (Photo: Reuters)
I have always had friends who observe roza and celebrate Eid. They have been sweet and courteous and invited me over for Eid lunches and dinners — but the iftar invitation has remained the Yeti that I have always craved but never had the opportunity to see.
Every Ramzan, I have hoped for an invitation as people put out pictures of iftar delicacies nicely laid out in fine ceramic crockery with layers of oil and ghee floating over cooked mutton and chicken, tender kebabs laid out on plates with Basmati rice, rumali rotis just waiting to be hogged.
Till next Eid! I crave iftar food — but even more, it's about the shared ambience. (Photo: Reuters)
I think iftar tempts me for the timing the meal is served. When the sun sets, your lunch has almost been digested and you are thinking of evening snacks. Though iftar offers much more than just snacks. This might sound a little insensitive to the rozedaars who value the meal and look forward to it because the roza doesn’t allow them lunch, not even breakfast. I understand they look forward to water more than anything else to end the day’s fast, but I hope they will understand the pain of a person forever denied iftar delicacies.
Now, you can order most of the food and eat it at home — in office too. But that food will never allow the cultural essence of sharing iftar meals to waft through the ambience. I think that is what I have missed the most about not being invited to an iftar party ever.
Almost every Ramzan, I religiously traverse through the streets of Old Delhi for food with friends. I can, therefore, tell you that the urge for an iftar invitation has not as much to do with the food as it is about experiencing a cultural practice.
You can have gujiya round the year — but it tastes different when had on Holi. It’s the whole package that matters — people playing Holi and you hogging on gujiyas on your terrace or balcony.
The same goes with iftar food.
Every Ramzan has left me disappointed. With another Ramzan now over, I can only say — over to the next.