Monday, September 14, 2009
Sunday Night Iftar
After a hectic weekend of learning our next assignment, attending a wonderful iftar was a great way to end the weekend. An iftar is an evening meal in which Muslims break their fast during the Islamic month of Ramadan. This year Ramadan is from August 21 to on or around September 19.
It was a small, intimate gathering with fantastic food. The event started with a date, then fresh fruits, then lentils and yogurt, then tasty chaat, then haleem, then biryani, then we left before more came out.
I went a little crazy over the fried eggplant, a battered thin slice sprinkled with chat masala, my new favorite spice mix. While enjoying the eggplant, I learned that Jains do not eat eggplants, since eggplants have a large number of seeds and a seed is believed to be a carrier of a budding life.
The most memorable moment of the night for me was when our very gracious host, in response to a conversation said (poorly paraphrased by me here): After you have been in Kolkata for a few months, you fall in love with the city and want to make changes; but when you try, you feel the pain of Kolkatans. Kolkata is a very unique place and I know we will miss it greatly.