Tuesday, 18 August 2009

Living Consciously

We received a phone call from Spain late last night. It was FC, Mother’s youngest brother and my uncle-cum-cousin. He’s been working in Spain for the last month or two, living in a house on the beach near Almeria and will be returning ‘home’ to Amsterdam this coming weekend. Green like an ever-green Christmas tree I was.

Now THAT’S the life! If there ever was anyone I’d want to emulate, it would be him. He’s barely 30 years old, very handsome (ladies he’s still single *wink* *wink*), very Islamically inclined, very successful (too bad there aren’t many available men like him) and is based in Amsterdam but travels/lives all over the world, wherever his work takes him…Spain, Germany, Singapore, Argentina, London, Chicago…ugh everywhere. He called to say that he might be able to make a short trip to South Africa for Eid-Ul-Fitr with the family. Hopefully he’ll make it iA.

Speaking of Eid, Ramadaan is almost upon us and I’ve been manic busy with preparations. We’re not the conventional family when it comes to food in Ramadaan. Heck we’re not the conventional family period. Mother is a fantastic cook, the best in the land…when she has the time or energy, which is usually every second Sunday. Her idea of making savouries is throwing all the ingredients together on the stove and letting us do the rest. My Mother is a Forensic Data Analyst. She doesn’t have the time (or the patience) to put sesame seeds on little itty bitty bite-sized pies. And unlike many of the lucky females out there, I suffer from MIL-less-ness.

I don’t have a Mother-in-law that prepares everything, boxes it up and sends it over. And so the task rests with me and my sisters. I’ve been cooking since I was 9 years old and can make everything except Peking duck and Prawns…because I don’t eat duck or cockroaches from the sea.

That said, I’ve been quite busy because in our family, we’re the only ones who make our savouries. Everyone else buys them (lazy gits). In fact, aside from my mother, I’m the only one who will and can make the Samoosas and Spring rolls. My sisters usually help out with the pies, meticulously handling the sesame and/or poppy seeds that embellish the glazed pastry tops. My aunts and cousins are burdened with the task of baking or frying the goods and eating them.

On the subject of eating, we don’t make copious amounts of savouries in twelve thousand varieties (another unconventional family trademark, Copyright All Rights Reserved :P). Mother believes that we should honour the month and what it represents and not feast every night until the cows come home.
During Ramadaan, we eat quite healthily for sustainable energy; with loads of fresh salads, fruit, vegetables, chicken, fish, yoghurt followed by lots of water. We usually only have 1 type of savoury per night…maybe 2 on the weekends.

Not wasting or over-indulging is a rewarding experience. Excess defeats the purpose of this auspicious month. I’m very Anti-Wastage and I’m constantly reminded of how others starve while we stuff our faces like greedy maggots. So I want to take the opportunity today to plead Anti-Wastage. Think of all the food you waste on a daily basis, and how that could contribute to feeding a starving nation. We need to live more consciously…conscious of ourselves, conscious of each other and conscious of our Creator, then maybe this God Forsaken place called Earth won’t be half that bad.

Can't remember Photographers name.


  1. I'm with you on the over indulgence.
    We have decided that soup and samoosa's is all we'll have. and maybe on the rare occassion include other stuff. But we going for simple and to give us enough time to insha Allah make taraweeh every night. ( i cook the day before, cos of work)

  2. God bless the mothers of this world

  3. Ditto Mini:) and God Bless the mother-in-law's of this world. I did have a finger in the prep this year, many hands and all that.

    We should also take the time to celebrate the home industries. May there always be barkat in their rozis.

    The photographer was Kevin Carter. Look out for the book; The Bang Bang Club.

  4. Wow, I am very impressed! Chicken fish, fruit, etc...I would eat with your family any day! Heheheh...

  5. http://www.flatrock.org.nz/topics/odds_and_oddities/ultimate_in_unfair.htm

  6. Aasia - Fortunately, all of us are home by 5pm...but when I used to work in Sandton, we cooked the day before too.

    Mini - Right on. I love my mummy :D

    Saaleha - InshaAllah Ameen. I knew his surname was Carter, but for the life of me couldnt remember the first name...couldnt be bothered to google it either.

    OrganicM - South Africans are generally very friendly, so your family would be welcome to join us any time. And lucky for you, there aren't any whiny kids here :D

    JDee - Thanks for the link.

  7. this was a very touching post, Azra. Well written, well done.

    The photographer who took this picture incidentally committed suicide, he touched a lot of people with his pics and bought a lot of awareness... but he just couldnt take it anymore (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kevin_Carter)

    Definitely do not waste excess during this month, learn to give thanks, and pray for those less unfortunate.. those who we are aware of, and those who made us aware of it.


  8. Ms - I had heard that he committed suicide, thats what grabbed my attention the first time I saw this pic.
    But it is truely sad. I don't know how does one recover after witnessing something so devastatingly tragic and then returning to a world thats oblivious? We need to stop talking and start acting as a collective. And for me it starts by not wasting :)