Just as I stepped out of the office elevator , I heard a colleague beg someone to fill in for her at a 6pm call because she would otherwise be late for her Iftaari and her family was waiting. I walked out of the building wondering how it would be to fast the entire month , in a city that did not really care Offices would not close early nor did traffic become lighter. Life went on , like the rest of the year. People stepped in and helped each other making sure they get home on time , making sure deadlines are still met and Ramzan remains special .I looked down at the cab info on my mobile. The driver’s name was Naushad .
And here is the conversation with Naushad , I never had….
Oh Naushad, you are never going to get home in time for your Iftaari today. My destination is a good 90 minutes away , you know that !
Where do you live?Close to my destination ?I bet not . Your software isn’t that intelligent to give you a drop close to home near Iftaari , leave alone shift end time.
You are so stuck ! You regret me booking this cab , don’t you ? Or wait , maybe no ..maybe this was the ride that will help you buy some delicious dates for your children at tonight’s iftaar table ! You will walk in late but glowing and there will be laughter and celebrations. Your wife will look at you across the table -half miffed but she glows with pride. Or , things may be very different.
You could have just refused ! Turned off the GPS , maybe ?
The traffic thickens and the skies get darker , I sit there with a guilty feeling in the back seat wondering.. Is it just another day for you ? Are you so used to Ramadan being this way , that its just okay to be at work right now ?
Are you really Naushad or just filling in for him?
Are you fasting today or maybe you have completed the number of days you planned to fast ?
Naushad , do you not have a family to go home to ?
By then, you had slid on your Fez and I could hear you mutter a prayer. I dozed off . It was almost past two hours by the time , we reached the destination . As I got out , I just wanted to wish you a great evening with your family and almost on cue you said
“Allah aapki saari duaayein poori karein“.
I smiled within . I sure hope they come true .