Eating · Food and Drink · India · Places I've Lived · Writing & Memory

After the day’s fast has ended

Oh Minara Masjid at Mohammedali Road at night: a cacophony of horns and hawkers that make your head spin, women clad from head to toe in black burqas buying bras and fake diamond necklaces, the mosque incandescent with fairy lights, and the sweetshop in front hidden by towers of fine-spun sutar firni, golden malpuas, and perfectly round nan khatais. Men in skull caps and women whose faces I cannot see. The scent of spices and charcoal overpower a faint sewage stench. Goats are tied under arches everywhere, getting fatter and fatter for the kill, nuzzling colonial stone walls covered in betel spit. Beggars have descended in an army of hundreds, bent, blind, limbless, hollow-faced, even entire families holding out palms and scarves for money. From my seat on the bench, I look straight into the mosque where a sea of men’s backs and shoulders bow and kneel as one, praying the Tarabi. I am eating kababs, malpua, brain masala, kidney masala, and chicken. With long bread.

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