Archive for July, 2012

The sun beat down hard on my brow. 48 hours to go of this hell. I mentally checked my supplies.

Three eggs
Six slices of bread
Some butter
Some frozen packeted stuff
Bottle of chillie paste
An old toffee I found in my wallet whose expiry date I couldn’t find on the cover… do toffees have expiry dates? I’ve never seen an expiry date on a toffee wrapper. Omg toffees are immortal.

But I digress.

My stomach was making sounds. I looked up at my roommate shiftily, but she was engrossed in her laptop and had not heard the guttural roar of my belly. Okay.

I went inside and contemplated whether I should break my fast early. I felt weak. Oh god… the end… it’s near. I can see the light. Grandma is that you?

‘You is funny,’ said the seven year old in broken english at the door of my room, shining a torchlight in my face. It was the landlady’s kid. Not Grandma. I was still alive. I saw a packet of chips on the table. Oh god, chips. Sweet chips. Come here I shall eat you.

NO YOU DON’T EVEN KNOW WHOSE CHIPS THEY ARE. Stop stealing people’s chips, man, get a hold of yourself.

Ah screw it.

I grabbed a chip. The door of the room opened and my roommate stood there looking at my hand in a packet of chips like O__O

‘Oh, crap. Are these yours?’ I said sheepishly. I was about to tell her my hand has a mind of its own, it’s a medical condition, it is spastic and does things, evil things. But I just said ‘hehe’ instead.

HEHE? THE DELIRIUM OF HUNGER. It is messing with your ability to come up with credible and ingenious lies. Oh god this really is the end.

She shrugged and said ‘it’s ok, you can have some.’ I put two chips in my mouth and tried not to look like a ravenous rabid squirrel. ‘I’m fasting and I’m feeling a bit faintish, had to eat something,’ I weakly explained. She smiled and went to her work. She probably thinks I’m a refugee now. A sri lankan refugee who eats other people’s chips.

WHAT HAVE I BECOME?

Now before you judge me this isn’t me whining about Ramadan. This is me whining about the consequences of losing my PIN number. Yes, I am a big panditha idiot who thought I’d never forget the PIN number of my ATM card – no, not even after a three month long vacation – and didn’t bother to even write it down anywhere. Big surprise, I forgot it.

And now I was in 40 degree weather in Delhi with a total of about 150 rupees in my pocket, a few groceries in the fridge and a presumably immortal toffee. I had had two sandwiches and a handful of dates the previous day, and that was all I’d had for the past 24 hours. Some people can live on this much.

I, however, had been spending the previous two months getting spoilt back at home aka eating a 2 foot tall pile of rice ala  mouth watering curries, and that too, at least twice a day. And this is not counting the trips to eat burgers, ice cream and other cholesterol inducing items at random. There’s an obese person living inside this skinnyass frame of mine.

Anyway back to my tale of woe.

After this self deprecating act of chip-stealing, I took this box of dates that my mum had sent me and just sat on the bed and started eating them one after the other. Dates are not that tasty, they’re dry and sweet and starchy. I didn’t care. I just kept popping those dates. At one point though something snapped.

NO MOAR DATES. CANNOT. MUST HAVE. REAL FOOD. GRAWGRRRRRNNGGGG…
I wandered the apartment with my arms outstretched like a zombie making deathly mumbly sounds.
Then I slapped myself in the face, GET YOSELF TOGETHA MAN, and ran downstairs, borrowed a cup of rice from the landlady, and came back and made a rice meal like a boss with that and some of the stuff in the fridge.

Not too shabby no?
I am such a show off. When it comes to my culinary skills. Which were a mythical thing, before this awesome meal was born. What can I say? Desperate times…

I can’t just borrow rice and wait no, so that was just one lovely lone tasty-meal-involving day. I used up the rest of my money and bought more groceries. I have cornflakes for Ifthar now. IRON SHAKTHI! No, srsly, I feel the ironz in ma bonez.

Someone bought me a brownie today. I think I wept a little into my pillow from the joy.

I emailed my mum about my state of famine and impending doom and she replied like ‘hahahahahaha! eat more dates and you’ll be strong as an elephant!’ That’s a direct quote. Who even says that? Strong as an elephant? Do elephants eat dates, mother? I THINK NOT. She’s not completely heartless though, I’m getting money tomorrow and a new ATM card in a week. Yay.

It was a fun week though. I secretly enjoyed near-death. Made me feel like Robinson Crusoe. Except like, without the beard… and with electricity… and stuff in the fridge…

Happy Crappy Ramadan!

Posted: July 25, 2012 in Uncategorized

So I’ve been having a crappy start to my Ramadan. For the noobs, Ramadan is a month during which Muslims fast from about 4am to 7pm to experience the hunger our less fortunate brothers and sisters go through and all that cheesy stuff, and everyone is extra nice during this month, and at the end there’s this awesome festival where everyone eats gulab jamun and high-fives each other.

Why is my Ramadan crappy? Well in a few words: my 2.5 month long summer vacation in Sri Lanka just came to an end. I’m spending this month all by myself (cue that song!) in Delhi, India. I lost my PIN number so I have barely any money on me. I’m basically living on a bottle of chilli paste, bread and date fruit (I cut my thumb on a date yesterday, oh god the horror).  The temperature of an average day is about 40 degrees. Dehydration while fasting is such a party.

Yep that pretty much sums it up.

I skipped the first two days of class since landing here because it’s so hot out there you can fry an egg on the sidewalk. Today I went to class and everyone was like, hey how are you! And I’m all, life sucks, get out of my face.

Then while I was looking out the window and wistfully imagining I was in a sad music video, the lecturer told us she wanted to check out our writing styles and asked us to take out a sheet of exercise paper and write down in about 300 words why we picked this course to study. It sounds so dumb and silly when I say this but I felt so much better after writing this. It took all of five minutes but it reminded me of some important things I’d forgotten. Here’s what I wrote.

Why I Chose This Course

I was eighteen, fresh out of school; naive; confused. I was a dreamer, I wanted to paint, I wanted to write. Painters and writers starve, said my mother. So I conceded defeat – and took that pipe dream of studying books, words, stories — studying literature — and shelved it away. I became a journalist – it was writing, sort of, just not the type I was passionate about. The next year I got bored and entered architecture college.

A year later – I had completed a diploma course in journalism, a diploma course in abnormal psychology, had become part of the local media network, had delved headlong into photography, had kick-started an NGO, and had dropped out of architecture college. I was back to where I started at eighteen — confused. I asked myself why I felt so dissatisfied — what was that missing thing that I felt a pang for, when I woke up with no particular sense of purpose just to exhale a sad sort of apathetic sigh as I sipped my cup of tea? 

I don’t ask myself these things today. I’m in my second year of a degree in literature – in Delhi, a three-hour long plane ride from my home in Sri Lanka. For the first time in my life, I feel like I’m doing what I’m supposed to be doing. The fish has been returned to the sea. It may sound like I’ve just narrated to you a series of random disconnected events, but isn’t that what life is anyway? Random events strung together. I love it. And I guess that’s why I chose this course – literature, to me, is the study of life itself. 

SO LAME, AMIRITE?
It’s all true though! All so very true! </sheepish>

Sigh. I am such a dork.
Ramadan Kareem, everyone!