We wasted so much money and ate so less, wasting food that could go to someone else who needed it during the holy month
The month of Ramzan with its endless aftaar parties and buffets came to an end and Lahore can finally return to its normal self. It was quite odd to see a city that is almost up throughout the day, vanish until 6 pm.
As the shutters opened, counters dusted, stoves turned on, the city would be awoken from its deep slumber. Expensive buffet tables were adorned with the restaurants best dishes, cafés beginning to warm up their coffee machines, and all of us putting on our ‘social’ masks and leave the air conditioned houses behind and enter back into the city.
As I noticed, the trend of going out for aftaar or sehri has become more popular with each passing year, benefitting the restaurant industry of Lahore despite them being shut for the first half of the day. The old traditional sehris and aftaars with our families happen less frequently as we chose to instead spend time with our friends.
Expensive and wasteful aftaar deals were announced. Even though we only ate a small portion of food at our aftaars, we were swindled out of our money and ushered into fancy restaurants and towards lavish buffet tables. The only difference when we would leave was that our wallets were considerably lighter, but that didn’t necessarily mean that our stomachs were heavier. We wasted so much money and ate so less, wasting food that could go to someone else who needed it during the holy month.
Instead of spending our time at restaurants and cafés, a homeless shelter or an orphanage would have been better suited to stick to the theme of helping people and being a "better person".
The streets of Lahore may have seemed empty during the day because of the lack of cars or people rushing to lunches, however at every signal you still had your usual horde of beggars, and little kids trying to sell you a matchbox. Their slogans took a bit of a turn during Ramzan, as instead of asking for food to fill their stomachs, they now asked for food to break their fasts.
We spent so much money hosting lavish parties at home when the same money could have been used to feed ten times more people if the effort had been made. We were defined by the kind of parties we threw; yet no one seemed to find anything wrong with this notion.
Year after year, we repeat the same traditions and rituals during Ramzan, never learning or straying from the path set so long ago.
Half broken roads, empty construction sites, and abandoned machines were a common sight during a drive through the ghost city. The city had become purely nocturnal, only rising as the sun went down. The streets became overcrowded in cars again, the lights adorning the buildings for this holy month were turned on, and everyone began to come out to play. The heat gave everyone even more of an incentive to stay shut inside their rooms, waiting for the hours to pass faster.