That old man with a hunched back, gnarled fingers and wearing clothes, on his scraggy body, that had seen better days knocked at our door right when we were breaking our fast. It was an odd timing to hear someone knock at your door because it was that time of the day when everyone’s at their home during the month of Ramadan. Maghrib, the time of dusk. When my father opened up the door and saw that old man, he, with his pleading eyes started asking my dad to give him something to eat so that he could break his fast.
Every man has self respect and it takes a person to go to the brink of desperation to step out from their circle of dignity and venture into doing something that would stab their honour. We had all the blessings at our aftar table at that time. It made me wonder, what is the factor that distinguishes me from that old man? Why, while asking for the food, he had this palpable fear hiding in his eyes that his request would go unrequited? Was it us who were to decide that whether this person would get to eat or not? Why did I have, Alhumdulillah, a variety of aftar dishes set in front of me and a lot more uncooked things preserved for the days to come, while this person didn’t even have a morsel that he could break his fast with? Why did he thank my dad when he gave him the money to buy himself food when it should be Allah to whom he’d have given thanks? Does having more money and food make us in anyway better than that person in question? It only made me realize that how ungrateful a man can be. It made me realize that I’m better than a lot of other people not because I have to compare myself by looking up at people and see what is it that I lack, but to be grateful for what I already have, unlike so many other people.