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This was the first fast kept at work. The day had to begin earlier than usual and I was at work by 7:45. The day was warm and the building was stuffy. All those fasting happily greeted one another with sympathetic and united smiles as we went about the day doing our duties.

It was interesting to see how many people were affected by the majority of the college abstaining from food and water. The lunch ladies and men couldn’t get rid of the food and students had no choice but to mingle since they had no sandwich to stick their noses into. The day passed in relative ease but those not of the faith were highly concerned about how we were managing and tried not to eat in front of us. But the thing is, we do this every year and even when they hide their packet of crisps, I tell them I still have to go home and make over 3 dishes for iftaar. But as always, the gesture is sweet and appreciated.

I made sure to  go home as early as possible to help in the kitchen. I knew today would be the day we make ‘the proper’ iftaar stuff to give to the neighbours. I come home to a lot of activity in the kitchen and see a lot of lentils.

Basically dad came home and said ‘I want to have lentils today’.

Mum: In what?

Dad: Everything.

Mum: Everything?

Dad: As many things as you can.

And so mum added lentils to the pakura and lentils to the savoury rice dish we make (kisuri). So much so, that I don’t think we have any left to make lentil soup *sheds a tear*

So all the plan to have healthy food went out the window. This is what we gave to the neighbours: the need to give back a hearty iftaar is what lead to the images you are about to see. I suggest you look away in case the images disturb your unclogged arteries and beating heart:-

Day 2 Neighbours food

This is what everyone else’s plate looked like:

Day 2 'Normal' iftaar

This was my plate:

Day 2 My 'small' iftaar

It was funny how mum and dad looked at my plate in shock and near disgust.

Dad: How can you eat so little?

Me: My stomach has shrunk so its fine. Eating a small portion is better.

Mum: Take more rice

Me: I’m fine. I would rather have more fruit

Dad: You didn’t take the pakuras

Me: I want to leave space for air!

Mum: Take more rice

Me: Mum, seriously?! 0_o

To them it was a pitiful amount of food but in reality I was eating smart. Stuffing my face at iftaar and then eating again in another 4.5 hrs is the worst and unfortunately the most common mistake people make. Asians need to stop thinking that rice or samosas are the way to go about filling your stomach.