Categorized | Literature

May The Sun Be Ever In Your Favour

Posted on 25 September 2013 by admin

Yumna Baqai

Toronto

“Ma’am what kind of drink would you prefer?” asked the flight attendant of the California bound flight, interrupting my thoughts about the delicate composition of the Subway foot long I had bought for Iftar. “Nothing,” I replied politely, “I am fasting.”

Before leaving for my vacation, I consulted with the local imam who advised not to fast while travelling if it exceeds my regular fasting hours. I used my wonderful math skills to conclude that during flight the Iftar will be 3 hours earlier than usual, hence I chose to fast.

 It was a lovely day, but after going through the customs and tough scanning at the security, I was exhausted, hungry and cared the least about the day’s beauty. I just wanted it to end. Trust me, you would wish the same if it were the fifteenth’s time you have apologized to your neighbour for the kind of grumbling coming out of your stomach. It really sounded like I had swallowed a live Velociraptor!

 Anyways, after an hour or two into the flight, I saw the sun drawing close to the horizon. “YES!” exclaimed the desperate voice in my head, “Food time! ….I mean, Alhamdulilah! The fast went well. It’s almost time for Iftar.” It was finally the moment I had been waiting for. My tongue braced for a delicious impact while my stomach skipped with excitement, preparing to digest the mouth-watering Tuna sub. I took out the exotic foot long that I have been hijab-over-heals about for the past few hours. Maintaining the visual contact with the sun, I recite my pre-Iftar supplications alongside counting down the final minutes. Upon my request, the flight attendant poured for me, a glass of water. With a water-filled Styrofoam glass in one hand and the sub in another, I continued staring at the sun knowing that at any moment the red across the horizon would appear announcing the Iftar. What happened next transformed this well-behaved Hijabi into a furious and barbaric Hulkjabi.

The sun that was almost setting seemed to have time warped back a couple of hours. It was afternoon all over again!! The sun had repositioned itself to the point it was at during the time of take-off from Toronto. Shocked, confused, disappointed, angry are all the words that fail to describe the exact intensity of the emotion I felt. What in the Merlin’s beard was that?! Did the sun trick me? — It can’t! So what was it? After a while, the major flaw in my genius calculation hits, “Dagnabbit, Yumna!” I yelled inside my head “Time zones!” Yes, time zones! Something I clearly skipped during the calculations. Moving from Toronto towards California, the time zones change and the day becomes younger. “Stupid fire ball!” lashing out at the innocent sun, I slammed the shade shut and fell asleep.

“Ma’am what kind of drink would you prefer?” the flight attendant shook me awake during the second round of refreshments. I slid open the shade. The sun hasn’t seemed to have moved a bit! “Fasting,” I groaned irritably. Turned and fell asleep again.

About three hours later, half an hour away from the destination, the sun finally sets. The fast lasted more than 23 hours leaving me enervated. No longer caring about the deliciousness of the sub, I devoured the entire sandwich within seconds. My neighbour was clearly not impressed by the barbaric behaviour, but hey! He shouldn’t be talking… he ate chips, cookies, sandwiches and much more throughout the journey. Of course, I apologized for my ruthless behaviour later. He understood. All is well that ends well.

Anyways, this was the most energy depleting journey. However, I learned several lessons like: Never let Yumna calculate anything important as it can be disastrous and ALWAYS take time zones into account. Remember, if you’re travelling westwards, the day lengthens, while on the contrary, travelling eastwards makes it shorter. Apart from aforesaid lessons, I also got a true essence of hunger provoking thoughts about starvation across the globe. This experience was painful but definitely made me grateful, encouraging charity.

I chose to share my story with you as each year its during Summer when Ramadan begins and it will remain so for the next few years. Summer is the high time when people travel. These mistakes are surprisingly very common— something that serves to lift my self-esteem. Hoping this article helps you plan better. Cheers! Finally, to everyone planning to take a trip during the next Ramadan:

Happy travelling! May the sun be ever in your favour!

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