Pakistan is up in arms; at least the liberals who disagree with the Ramzan Disobedience Fine are. According to news reports, the senate standing committee on Religious Affairs has adopted an Ehtram-e-Ramzan Bill 2017 in which penalties of up to 25000 have been set for hotel owners who deny to follow the Ehtram-e-Ramzan Ordinance, 1981. Under the amended bill, offenders who eat, drink or smoke openly in public places between the hours of dawn and dusk will be made to pay a fine of Rs 500, which doesn’t seem as daunting until you find it’s paired with a subtle three-month prison time. Media outlets, restaurants, hotels and cinema houses (no sneaking nibbles in the dark!) will pay a minimum fine of Rs 500,000 upon violation of the law.
So, what exactly can you consume with out paying a price? Here’s a list we’ve thoughtfully compiled to get you through the holy month on the right side of the law:
YOU CAN EAT YOUR WORDS
Most of us have, at some point said something that we’ve had to retract as it was so off mark. For people who like to make tall claims that have no foundation, they may and can eat a slice of humble pie with their words.
GHUSSA PEE JAO
Feeling thirsty? Skip the refreshment and opt to swallow your anger. We’ve all been there, someone taking a little too long to turn at the green light, the cash registerer scanning items at a glacial pace, and a family member asking one too many questions in a particular moment of patience depletion: withhold thy rage my friends. Take a hard, dry swallow and remember this month is about appreciating where patience can lead you.
SWALLOW YOUR PRIDE
Ramzan is a gift that we receive once a year where we can put things into perspective, and that perspective should be lent to managing our egos. Pride, one of the seven deadly sins, rears its ugly head whether your job requires you to sit at a desk, or you’re a celebrity who doesn’t think you’re being covered #fairly.
BITE YOUR TONGUE
Literally. Take this month to adopt good habits like not cursing like a caricature of a gangster in a b-level film, withhold from engaging in gossip and sharing of delicious, decadent and often made up news, exercise your inner chill and do not react when people push your buttons.
BITE THE HAND THAT FEEDS YOU
Following up on biting your tongue, keep from listening to garbage while you get deep down into your Ramzan groove. Someone wants to gossip, shut it down. Someone wants to fill your head with migraine inducing bad mood chitty chat, shut it down. If you can’t stop the negativity from infiltrating, you could try literally biting them to scare them off.
DRINK IN THE MOMENTS
We only get one Ramzan a year, and its a special time with family, friends and an over stimulation of Ramzan and Eid lawn collection ads that suffocate your eyeballs. Drink in the special moments that millions of your muslim brethren across the globe are experiencing. The moment you wake up for sahoor, confused and horrified at the stress of your new sleeping schedule. The moment you hit the market to prepare for the holy month and there’s a tinge of excitement and cheer in the air. And the moment right before iftari when the adhan hits and you realize you want an entire day without any of your vices and you feel almost saintly (to which we remind you about that whole pride/ego its a no-no thing).
CHOW DOWN ON CALORIES OF APPRECIATION
You get to indulge in sehris with your family, the iftaris where you get to annihilate trays of pakoras and of course the blessing that you get to do any of that when so many don’t. It’s the month to recognize your #blessed life and have that appreciation keep you nourished right up until you go face first into a platter of samosas.
Wishing you, your family and anyone you sort-of like Ramzan Mubarak; may the two-a-day carb loading begin!
- Featured image by Hira Humayun