IT IS 2.30 am and Badshah Miyan’s call echoes in the entire locality urging the devout to get up for ‘sehri’. For years, Badshah Miyan, who lives in Budhwara, has been waking up residents in neighbouring areas for their meals before dawn.
Such calls have become rare in the State capital, but some elders and enthusiastic youths are still carrying on the tradition in the era of cell phones - ringing and ‘SMS-ing’ their relatives to wake them up.
‘Gizmos have changed things a lot, but these calls have their own charm,’’ says Suhail, a resident of Jehangirabad. “My friends send me hadith and other Islamic messages on cell phone every day and then there are iftar and sehri charts for the upcoming week, which you get from friends,” he says, adding that the charm of traditional ‘sehri’ calls still endures.
In the past, ‘fakirs’ woke up people with calls like ‘Sehri ka waqt ho gaya, uth jaiye’, but now few ‘fakirs’ are seen. “I start waking up people from Bagh Farhat Afza and walk up to Budhwara, calling to people to get up and have sehri,” says Khalid, a youth who lives in Talaiya.
But modern gadgets have surely changed lives, admits Yasir who travels frequently. “I have the entire Holy Quran on my cell phone and read it either on train or in a hotel room.”
“There are a lot of informative programmes on television now about Ramzan that deal with various aspects of fasting,” says Saleha, a resident of Bijli Nagar Colony. “Compared to the past, there has been a surge of programmes and this year several channels have Ramzan-specific ones, which we generally watch during sehri,” she says further.
Besides, there was the SMS in circulation ahead of Ramzan, which, once saved in certain new models of mobile phones, would remind the person of sehri and Iftar daily for the entire month.
So does that mean clocks, jantris (almanacs) and iftar charts are out? The smile on the face of Bablu, a skullcap and calendar seller in Ibrahimpura, clearly says it’s not the case so far and he is happy with the sales.