On 11th of September 2010 Ramzan will be celebrated in Bangalore and while it is a major festival for Muslims it holds lot of significance to me from a personal point of view. I came to Bangalore in 1989  after having just finished by education.  My early days in Bangalore were memorable in many ways because I was excited to be in a new and famous place like Bangalore but at the same time never knew anything about Bangalore.  Very soon we managed to get a house in Bangalore and though we stayed only for a brief period of about 3 years that house has given me plenty of memories to cherish.

To begin with the house owners were Muslims, while we were Hindus and our co tenants Christians and I recall naming the house as Unity Buildings with a sense of pride.  We were treated as pets by our House Owners and Co Tenants because whenever there was a Muslim festival they shared their joy more with us than our co tenants who were senior to us in the sense of having occupied the house before us. Similarly when it came to Christian festivals our co tenant who is a Christian felt more comfortable in sharing their joy with us than with the House Owners.  However all of us shared a good relationship with each other and still keep in touch with each other. While our house owner stayed in the ground portion of the house we stayed in one of the portions in the first floor.

Our house owner comes from a traditional Muslim family and has a long family and though the exact number of children they have close to 10 children.  The house owner and his elder sons used to run a provision shop while the youngest son used to assist his father in the provision shop.  The house owners wife and his married daughters were all house wives.  I was close to the youngest son and youngest daughter being almost of the same age.

It is from my first house owners home I have seen Ramzan celebrations from close quarters.  I came to know about fasting and the haleem offerings they take from mosque from them.  It is from the house owners family I came to know namaz and the number of times in a day they were required to do namaz.  It is again from the house owners family I learnt that Muslim women cannot go to the mosque and have to pray at home only.  I still remember vividly Ramzan celebrations at our house owners home when their married daughters would come with their children to celebrate Ramzan and there was lot of joy in the air as the house used to full of noise.  Our house owners youngest daughter a  simply homely girl usually dressed up in simple chuidhars and half sarees on normal days comes decked in gorgeous sarees with heavy embroidery and huge earrings on Ramzan day.  The youngest girl used to come to our home with biryani and even before she reaches the door of our home, we can hear the sound of her foot steps and also the sound of jewellery while charging up to our home with full of excitement.  Even before she reaches the door of the house with Biryani we can feel the smell of perfume and powder something she is not accustomed to on other days. I had never tasted a better biryani before and I can proudly say that it is very difficult to get a better biryani than the one made in their home on Ramzan. On most of the times it is difficult to get the rice because the parcel had more of mutton than biryani rice.

We stayed in their home only for three years but the house owners family gave us plenty of memories which I can never forget throughout my life and one such memory is of the way they celebrated Ramzan, their warmth, love and affection towards us. Even Though only a couple of members of the family stay in the same house as others especially the daughters have shifted to their husbands homes I make it a point to pass through their home on my way to office and back even though it means covering extra distance.  On the eve of Ramzan I wish their family and everybody a very Happy Ramzan.

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