I've always loved the month of Ramadhan. The very thought of millions of muslims around the world fasting and performing the Tarawih prayers during this special month has always been fascinating.
When I was just a child, fasting was a very big deal for me. I remember vividly during my early years, my mom would allow me to fast for only half of the day - up till noon time. I often argued with her that I was BIG enough to fast the whole day, but mom insisted that I practice fasting bit by bit and assured me that I would be able to fast the whole day some day soon. She would wake my elder brother and I for sahur and watch us with our eyes half closed slowly struggle to swallow the rice on our plates. How proud was I when I was able to complete a whole day of fasting. I was happy that I was able to get up for sahur before imsak just like the adults and fast a whole day just like the adults. And so I thought. During a conversation with mom a couple of years back I discovered that my mom had all the while woken us up for sahur at 7a.m. and whenever my elder brother asked if it was imsak time, she would insist that there was still plenty of time and we can eat for a little while longer (we were of course oblivious to the fact that the sun was already up at the time) .
When I was a student back in the 90s, I stayed with a Scottish family. My roomate D and I would have our sahur in the confines of our room. We both had a rice-cooker each. And during the fasting month we would have a simple sahur. One rice-cooker would contain rice, while the other a simple dish. We would take turns to wake up to reheat the cookers. Then we would set our alarm clocks for a 10 minute snooze before waking up again to eat our sahur. I remember once it was my turn to reheat our food. I got up. Pressed the reheat button and crawled back under the warmth of my duvet. I got up again after that and woke D up for sahur. We both sat around the cookers and were ready to eat our simple sahur. Just before eating, a quick glance at the clock revealed that I had not taken a 10 minute shuteye. Infact it was more than that. Through my blurry sleepy eyes I saw that it was exactly an hour later! So there we were, two souls cross-legged infront of two rice-cookers looking forlornly at our steaming hot rice and daging masak kicap (I think) and realising that we would have to go without sahur for that day.
To all I wish you a Happy Ramadhan!