On the last few days of Ramadhan, I was as usual, like almost everyone else, at a Ramadhan Bazaar to buy some delicacies. I was standing besides a group of young people who, like I was, waiting to cross the busy street running parallel to the bazaar when a taxi stopped not 20 meters away from us. Alighting first from the taxi was an elderly man wearing dark glasses. As he stepped out, he reached for the rear door and opened it where a lady about the same age as he was, had some minor difficulties putting her foot out. I initially did not give it much thought till a girl from the group of young people mentioned aloud "Ai! Pemuzik buta pun naik teksi gak!", referring to the couple whom when I looked in their direction, found them to be one of those blind musicians who busk on the streets. Still, I did not give them much thought till another girl from the same group said "Abeh! Camna derang nak bawak alat muzik derang? Naik bas?". It made me feel guilty then, it makes me feeling guilty even now as I write this.
In another scene, a friend tells me of a 'buka puasa' buffet he attended in a hotel. The spread, he mentioned, was simply superb. Apart from more than 20 main dishes to chose from which include a whole lamb and a turkey, there were a large variety of appetisers and desserts. It was, in his own words 'almost a sin'. And he pointed out 2 other points which could really make it a sin being there.
First, he overheard 2 well dressed ladies complaining about their maids whom they brought along for the buffet. The maids it seem, partook only a fraction worth of the buffet which the ladies were quoted to have said "It almost a sin to bring them along!". However, the maids were brought along not on the kind-heartedness of the ladies solely, as they had to look after their masters' children. Coming from a poor family, was it their fault that they have never seen such a lavish buffet and could not eat more than the single plate of serving they had?
Another thing my friend pointed out almost made me laugh and cry at the same time. Though it seem to be petty to many, he questioned the fact that many of the hotel's staff attending to the needs of the customers were Muslims who, like many other Muslims, had also fasted during the day. But these Muslim staff can only enjoy a simple breaking of fast, sometimes with just a glass of water as they need to get back on the floor soonest. Interestingly enough, he mentioned the fact that many of the customers were in fact, people who did not fast during the day. Perhaps, he voiced out, the authorities in JAKIM should look into this matter. A valid point there he has, I believe.
Now, a confession of my own: for the past 30 days or so, I too have my share of guilt as I have been wolfing down more lambs than I can ever imagine before. Like in the picture above, the satay like thing is actually grilled lamb meat sold at one of the stalls in Section 6 Bazaar Ramadhan, while the drumstick-like piece is a piece of lamb shank sold at Section 18 in Subang Jaya, along with the white roll which is a kebab. Of the 3, I've been eating the skewered lamb everyday since the stall is quite near my house.
When I think back about what the elderly blind couple as well as what my friend mentioned, I really do feel guilty deep inside. Perhaps, the only excuse I can offer is that, ready cooked lamb meat - other than the mamak's shop - are not readily available during other months. And I'm missing Ramadhan already.