A cool breeze swept across the face. Bright lights illuminate the beautiful dome. Starry dots scattered across the dark sky. It was squashed by a loud voice that beckoned in the distance ringing around the dome. A voice urging us to pray. I sat there, in the middle of the UKM Mosque. Looking sideways and backwards. As if searching for someone. I waited and waited. He didn’t come. A dear friend of mine was supposed to be meeting me here tonight. And suddenly I remembered that he couldn’t be here. Not now. I smirked and laughed by myself. Half-cursing him. He’ll only be back tomorrow I remembered.
A thought gathered pace inside me. This was the same spot that I sat to meet up with friends at the mosque. It’s been 11 years I think. I don’t know why but we usually tend to meet up at this very same spot without even discussing about it beforehand. Memories were carved here.
I pondered, Ramadhans had always been dear to me. Trials and tribulations followed by success and happiness. And it always had a major impact on me as person and how I see life. But the early memories always stick the most.
Year after year pass by and we seldom notice nor care about how it had pass us by. We treat is as routine time and again. There are many things associated with Ramadan. Grown-ups treat it differently with that of a kid. As a kid, fasting was something that is considered an achievement that would make you be in the league of grown-ups. Did we know why were fasting then? No. Did we understand the significance of the month? The Tarawih prayers? No. But fasting was something you want to do as a child. It was thrilling to say the least. Childhood memories. We all had them. Yours might be the same as mine or may be totally different, but here are some to share.
Getting up for Sahur : This was the toughest part of fasting. I still cant understand how the parents could be so cheery and wide awake for the meal in the middle-of-the-night. All the ‘I already ate a lot last night’ and ‘I can fast without eating’ would not work as an excuse not be waken up for Sahur. And because of not wanting to lose sleep, we would keep our eyes shut all the while eating. Oh, what a scene at the table.
School : It was always going to hard not eating at school. I would rather sleep than waste my precious energy on learning. Learning was hard you know! And what’s with the empty canteens? And I always wondered back then, why some girls brought water bottles with them? Weren’t they fasting as well? And we boys sometimes would keep spitting as afraid to keep to the belief, as nothing is to enter the mouth. That was then though.
After School : The countdown began. This is the most taxing moment. Its time to have a shower once again! Sometimes during the shower, a sip of water happened to just fly by into the mouth. And aaahhhhh. That’s better. Ops.
Iftaar preparations : Everyone had to help. And whoever enters the kitchen first would get the easiest job. Sometimes just bringing out the plates or setting up the table. The latecomer (my little brother usually) had to help mum prepare some of the dishes. Cut veggies or salads. That’s a no for me.
Iftaar : This is the time that I have been waiting for the whole day. Lots of food. The eyes widen and with dates in the hand. Everyone waited for the sound of the wonderful Azan. And then, as soon as the 1st sound of Azan is heard, we all would tuck in to the foods withouth being invited. Sometimes, our parents would make us stop because we forgot to recite the dua. After eating a lot, the drowsiness started to creep in and would be in no mood to go the mosque after that.
Tarawih Prayes : Remembering all the fun and friends at the Mosque, I would be all pumped up. For Isya’ prayers, I would behave and pray by my dads side. But when Tarawih comes, the time had come. I would be free to play. We would throw our songkoks and would play handballs. And would jump, run and slide all around the UKM Mosque. And when the prayers are on the last rakaat, we would run back and pray at the back all sweating. Oh the time. And not to mention the firecrackers. That would really annoy the Imam.
There are many other Ramadhan memories carved along the way. Perhaps we would, one day, relate them to the next generation and also be able to observe the new memories they will create. The memories that will colour our lives and theirs.