It's clearly more important to treat one's fellow man well than to be always praying and fasting and touching one's head to a prayer mat. - Naguib Mahfouz
This Hegira month is the time for fasting, an annual exercise where devotees are required to refrain from sex, eating during the day and consume food moderately (preferably in liquid form) in the evening. Medically speaking, it was proven that this practice has some benefits. It removes anti-toxins and revitalizes the body’s internal organ function, not to mention, “rejuvenate the soul”.
Although I don’t fast, I can feel its presence. Its effect is highly contagious; like seeing somebody yawn and, involuntarily, you find yourself doing the same. As if life shifted into low gear: you see everything in “slow-motion”.
Where I am, I see people coming to work at around 10 am. Some bleary eyed, others in a foul mood and still a few could hardly raised their foot to take the next step as they climb up the stairs. All around, they slumped in chairs, immobile, nodding their heads back and forth like sickly fowls. The only indication they are still alive are the hand and finger movement when operating the mouse as they surf the net.
Pacing is reduced that I have to cope up by slowing down as well. There’s no need to hurry things up to finish what ever I’m doing if only to face a blank wall along the way. What’s the rush if the guy I’m supposed to coordinate with is still halfway, or worst haven’t started yet, all because of fasting. What better excuse do you have when you want to skip work?
What amazes me is this phenomenon I observed as the sun sets, as if dusk suddenly awakens dormant energy that so much hustle and bustle is happening (mostly buying sustenance) after dark. One could see queues in bakeries, supermarkets and restaurants. But real activity starts at 9 pm, the same time the malls open. For some, this goes on until the malls closed at 1 am, for others, until before the break of dawn. At sunrise they revert back into a zombie-like trance and the cycle is complete.