It’s the season of Ramzan and many youngsters are not just sticking to the traditions of observing the fast and breaking it with family and friends, but are also going out of their way by serving free food to others.
Nabeel Ahmed Baig, a life-skills trainer, has been serving food along with his cousins and friends at BTM Layout since the beginning of the fast.
“While the others in the group have been doing this for the past two years, this is my first time. Serving others is a mandate during this month,” he says.
The group serves around 300 people every evening. “We serve ‘Aash’, which is made out of broken rice or sooji and moong dal. It is like a porridge or thick soup and is usually made at home and in mosques traditionally. A bowl of it can be really filling,” says Nabeel.
He adds that bachelors and the underprivileged are regular visitors.
“It is a traditional food item and cannot be prepared by everyone. And we serve everyone who comes to us; no questions are asked. Some people bring along their own containers or vessels and we give them the food in those,” says Nabeel.
While Nabeel and the group sometimes break their own fast at the stall, at other times they finish serving and rush home.
“It is a wonderful feeling to serve and eat with others. The varied experiences they share and their happy faces are a delight to see. Also, it’s a good reminder that one doesn’t need to know others to be kind to them,” he adds.
Nabil Irfan, businessman, will be seen serving passersby at standalone stalls in Shivajinagar and Frazer Town. He will be accompanied by his cousins Shariq, Danish and Shahruk.
“We did this last year too, wherever it was possible. On an average, we serve around 20 people a day. The food is for breaking the fast and we serve at 6.40 pm,” he says.
They plan to serve Samosas, a couple of chicken items, Keema Naans, Biryani and Ganji. “We serve anyone who wants to join in the festivity,” he says.
For Nabil, breaking his fast with his staff at work has been a tradition that he has stuck to.
“Most of my staff is non-Muslim yet they observe the tradition.”
While Nabil and his team will try to serve everyone who visits their stall, they will also look at packing up the food for people who want to eat elsewhere.
It is not just the evenings though, people will be serving food from early morning onwards, in different parts of the city.
Saif Khan, entrepreneur, serves pre-dawn meals (Sehri),from 3.15 am to 4.30 am, at BTM Layout. He is aided by around20 to 30 people. “We have been doing this for four years and we serve an average of 400 people every morning. During weekends, it goes up to as much as 700 to 800 people,” says Saif.
The fare served here includes dal and rice, along with non-vegetarian dishes like chicken or mutton, on a daily basis. “Our crowd usually consists of people who find it difficult to cook at night, for whatever reasons,” adds Saif.