Ramadan Journal: Some fond memories...

by - July 22, 2012

If you are here for the first time, kindly read this post on Journal your Ramadan to understand this series better. Jazakumullah khair. 


Image from  http://www.webdesign2day.com/ 
Preserving memories has always been an important part of my life. This Ramadan, I'am trying hard to carry on the traditions that I grew up with. Ofcourse, traditions are hard to instill in our children when it's just the two of us (J and I). 

Back in India (Kerala to be precise), I grew up in a joint family. Our kitchens were always noisy and crowded. My mom, grandmother and her sister along with my great grandmother would get busy from afternoon cooking. But Ramadan wasn't just about food. 

After Tahajjud prayers and Surhoor, often we would walk to the nearby mosque for Fajr prayers. I still remember those cool pre-dawn hours. Once we were back, we recited the Holy Quran and tried to take a short nap before getting ready for school. 

Our days at school were really long - where most of us would be in a competition on who kept more fasts , we would be back just couple of hours before Iftar. Our home would be filled with gorgeous smell! I still remember opening our fridge and shelves to check all the dishes that were prepared during the day. I would be dying to have a sip of watermelon juice. Oh my!

Those final minutes prior to Maghrib Azaan always seemed longer. It still does. When all iftar prep was done, we would get together and wait in the backyard, near our well, for Azaan. Once the call for prayer goes off, we would get busy stuffing our face with food. 

After magrib prayers, a proper meal and more Quran recitation, it was time for Taraveeh. Again, we would all walk together to the mosque. Taraveeh prayers used to take about an hour and half. Taraveeh prayers are said only during Ramadan which makes it even more important. What I remember the most about them is how the whole village came together during these hours. We would all be together with one mission in mind - attain nearness to Allah. 


Once done with Taraveeh and a bit of catching up with friends, we would walk back home. I miss those walks with my mom and sisters. During one such walks, we actually were blessed to spot Eid Moon! Yes, really! We saw it for a split second and Eid was declared! Such fond memories... I'am almost choking reminiscing about those days... 


When we are back home from Taraveeh, mom would give us a cup of 'kunjari kanji'. Kunjari (a certain type of rice which is a speciality of Kerala) cooked in milk and coconut milk. Some like it with sugar and some with salt. Kunjari Kanji and Thari Kaachiyathu (Semolina pudding) are two dishes that instantly take me to Ramadan back home. 

Here it's just me in the kitchen.. trying to prepare all those dishes and keep up with traditions I fondly remember. Talha and Aisha are too young to fast (4 1/2 and 1 1/2 years old respectively). I try to get them to participate with me in kitchen activities. I make sure that the table is set and all of us break fast together. I also sent Talha for Taraveeh prayers with J. My children's memories won't be same as mine, but they will be memories after all. And all I can hope is that they are good ones. 

Do you have any memories related to Ramadan? I would love to hear them. 


Have a blessed and peaceful day
Neelu

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16 comments

  1. Lovely post. Thanks for sharing your memories. What a great idea.... I don't have any childhood Ramadan memories beause I wasn't Muslim then. However, I remember my early fasts in the US. Even though I had a small Muslim community, it felt odd and lonely to fast there. I love Ramadan in Dubai because I feel a buzz around me & I enjoy all the decorations in the windows in the mall. That always makes me smile.

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    1. Thank you Holly. I'am glad you enjoyed it.

      I love Ramadan in Dubai too.. it's very laid back and quite here.. and everyone's more involved and here than in India :)

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  2. Sounds amazing.. Actually, sounds exactly what I'd picture Ramadan in a Muslim country to be like :) InshAllah one day I can experience such a treat!

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    1. Oh no lala, my childhood was spent in Kerala, India not here in Dubai. :) But yes, Ramadan in a Muslim country is really something else. Hope you get to spend some time here soon :)

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  3. What a post!And thanks a lot for sharing your memories ...special ones so generously with us and allowing us a glimpse in your childhood.I do not have any Ramadan memories as a child because I am not a muslim but spent two years in Indonesia and that is where I saw ramadan celebrations in full swing.I associate it with soothing pryers and aromatic food.And of course mouth watering too.

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  4. Thank you Snehal! I always feel a bit uneasy when I pour my heart out here, but your comments are making me feel more than comfortable.

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  5. its so nice to read about your Ramadan memories from your childhood days... some of them really strike a chord with me...though the difference with mine is i have always been a city girl but of course tradition are a great part of muslim culture and i have been lucky to have a joint family to enjoy all these tradition with...but then again now after marriage i have a single unit family and i so miss those days!! i always feel Ramadan is best enjoyed with a large family and i miss mine so much ....

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    1. I so understand what you mean Hussena.. I miss all the nuances of a joint family, especially during Ramadan :'(

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  6. wow... i totally totally loved reading this post.. its great to knwo how a day is during ramadan... being hindu i have never got such close info.. enjoying it.. looking forward to your posts everyday...

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    1. Thank you Renu :)) I'am glad I wrote it too :D

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  7. actually i am bookmarking this page...

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  8. what i miss the most is the walk for taraweeh... i am not sure whether you remember... during one ramadhan... after we cross the small bridge after suhani's house, there is this tiny wall that we have to pass and there used to be a snake there... during the entire ramadhan... and we all got together when we reached that spot and walked together making sure there is no danger :) *sigh* *good old days*

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    1. Yes, Noorie, I remember that 'snake area' very well. heehee.. yes, good old days. *sigh* when did our lives get so complicated?

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  9. aww... such a great post sis... I have somewhat similar Ramadan memories!! Love it.. you have described it so well!

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