I was born on the fifth of Ramadaan.

A Friday much like yesterday, except for the faint chill of winter that threads through June air.

I always forget my Islamic calendar birthday, and have to be reminded by my mother.
Once I hit fast#3, the days become one huge amalgamated mass of light and dark, with only the numbered chapters of the Quran and the tear-away days on our Ramadaan calendar providing any sense of where I really am.

However, this is not exclusive to Ramadaan. Just a few weeks ago, I misplaced a whole day. I have no idea what I did with Tuesday, August 26. Any information you might have regarding the missing hours can be forwarded via email to me.

The quiet still shrouds me, amplifying all those ugly, scraggly bits of character I need to do away with. If only a metaphysical Verimark existed, and I could pick up a nifty flaw and fluff-remover along with some Bio-slim (as this month of abstention does nothing for a body that’s stubborn and clingy).

The community website ramadaan.co.za features a really good series by Mariam Mahomed titled Ramadan Bootcamp. A post on forgiveness pulled a string in me, and I began to think on all those whom I had stomped on and the ones who muddied me.

I believe it’s a feature of only-child syndrome to want to be loved by everyone all the time (other solo brats feel free to disagree).

For a large part of my lived life thus far, the thought of someone not falling in step with that line refused to compute. And with that, I lived selfishly, doing what I had to do to get what I want, with little cognisance of the sharp words I’d utter or the disappointments I’d cause. “I’m sorry, I didn’t realise…” were frequent and familiar. I’d give you a smiley face and some story of how I’m just so caught up in myself to be aware of what I’ve really done. All would be forgiven, because, well, I’m me, and everybody likes me.

But it happens, that one day, someone actually is not able to stomach you, and it sickens you to your bowels, because really that’s never happened before (or maybe you were just so caught up in that little monarchy in your head, that you never noticed). That experience was enough to allow for a long-overdue growth-spurt of maturity. And you begin to think on who’s really forgiven you.

It would not make any sense to go back to every single person you’ve wronged for all your time on earth. What would you say that wouldn’t rattle with empty? “Look, I’ve just had an epiphany. I’ve been really ugly to you. I know I asked for you to forgive me, but will you really forgive me, because I’m being sincere this time around.”

You can’t expect people to hand out their heartfelt maafs on your demand. They have a right to withhold it for as long as their soul will allow. All you can offer is your honesty and prove by your subsequent actions that you truly are regretful.

As for those for whom you penned great epics of wrath and rage for, it’s all kind of laughable really. You would not be who you are today were it not for some reptile who forced you to walk on another path. While you need not cut out your heart for canapés, know that hate makes you brittle.

I visited my family in Azaadville today; with all their quirks and crazies, they keep me grounded. Reading salaah next to my grandmother, I found it hard to suppress a smile when she made her takbeer aloud and proceeded to recite her prayers just above that of an audible whisper. She’s been praying like that for so long, I don’t think He minds anymore. This is the woman who raised me, more mother than grandmother, I’m blessed to have three I can call Mummy (the recent addition of sg33k’s). My grandmother laments my weight gain and pushes sweets on me, all in the same breath. The ways of the old sometimes grate on the young, but in that exercise of patience, lies great reward.

My uncle had a tumour removed from his bladder two days ago. He’s caught in that horrid limbo of waiting on his results. Some of you reading this may have met him, and for others who’ve not; know that he is a father, a husband, a son, a brother, an uncle. At a time where our prostrations are just that little bit more extended, and we’re inwardly clamouring for the Almighty’s approval, remember him, and all those who are not in their best of states, in your prayers.

Jelly and Ifthaar are inextricably linked for me. Whobbling wonderfulness, I lose at least twenty years whenever I’m shlurping some.