Ramadan Mubarak!

Skyrocketing prices of essential items is characteristic of Ramadan, at least in this part of the world. Photo: Star

The gentleman in Lakshmipur orders a watch online. When he receives the package, he discovers two Indian onions. I hope he has held on to them, for now that it is Ramadan, he can sell those two onions for more than the price of the watch he had initially ordered.

Well, skyrocketing prices of essential items is characteristic of Ramadan, at least in this part of the world. But traders had actually promised not to raise the price of essential items during this Ramadan. For once, they have kept their word—they have increased the price BEFORE the start of Ramadan…

Investment bankers need to do a valuation of the total stock of onions in Karwan Bazaar. I bet it would be more than the GDP of Afghanistan.

But still, welcome Ramadan!

Hawkers have protested for not being allowed to set up food stalls on sidewalks. After all, the foot path that is otherwise used by motorbikes, is now to become a food path. And pedestrians? They can take a hike.

The spitting has started, street eateries have become modest and are now covering themselves, though spewing smoke from the sides as though being on fire. Some of us have suddenly developed "gastric pains" and "ulcers" which will miraculously and en masse disappear on the morning of Eid. This is a time Rooh Afza is an everyday utterance.

There are now the iftar parties. Oh and the sehri parties too, which, I somehow believe are really iftar parties where people reach late due to traffic jam.

Every outlet of Star Restaurant seems like there is a sale of Tk 3 eggs.

BOGO (Buy One Get One Free) is the start of every other SMS.

While the whole spirit of Ramadan is to spend a normal day, some of us have the luxury of spending the whole day sleeping, thus making me wonder if this is fasting or hunger strike.

But it is a time when we empathise with the hungry and the thirsty, it is the time when we realise it is possible to have a good time without back biting, cussing, swearing, lying. Best of all, it is a time when the whole family is at the table at the same time and with no mobile devices.

After 30 days of regimented workout, the good effects will linger on, for a week, at best, before we are back to square one and are after each other's tails.

Till then, let's worry about waking up at 3:30 am. Don't trust your phone (the alarm clock is dead)? No worries. There is always the watermelon—have plenty of it before going to bed and you WILL get your 3:30 am wake-up call…

Ramadan Mubarak!


Naveed Mahbub is a former engineer at Ford & Qualcomm USA, the former CEO of IBM & Nokia Networks Bangladesh turned comedian (by choice), the host of ATN Bangla's The Naveed Mahbub Show and the founder of Naveed's Comedy Club.

E-mail: [email protected]


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