Jakarta has been very mellow since Ramadan (the fasting season) started. Personally I have taken the opportunity to seriously cut down on the alcohol intake. Most of the bars are closed now and only some restaurants serve booze between 6pm and 12am. In fact last week at my regular pool joint, I had to drink my vodka out of a tea spout. Where there is a will, there is a way. Surprisingly however, I have fallen sick and I feel like absolute shit. It is like the booze was keeping all the cooties at bay.
My staff is all fasting so that means there has been more of a work load on me, which is pretty fair I guess. Not eating between dawn and dusk is not that hard but having no water to drink all day is difficult. Around this time, things get quiet all around the city. In fact it is down right boring. I am hoping to be out of Jakarta by next Monday and off to Ghana. If I do make it there we are going to have some mouth watering posts. I have not been back home in 2 years so I am really looking forward to it.
So it’s back to the grindstone for me. This is a little something I came across the other day that I found interesting. I have said before that I aint no patriot so, make of it what you will.
"In the middle of 1965 India-Pakistan war, US govt - then a closefriend of Pakistan - threatened India with stopping food-aid (remember"PL-480"?). For a food deficient India this threat was serious andhumiliating. So much so that in the middle of war, Prime Minister(Late) Lal Bahadur Shastri went to Ram Leela Grounds in Delhi and appealed toeach Indian to observe one-meal-fast every week to answer the Americanthreat. As a school boy, I joined those millions who responded toShastriji's call. I continued the fast even when the war was over and Indiabecame self sufficient in food. Hurt deep by the national humiliationsuffered at the hands of the US govt, I had vowedto stop my weekly fast only when India starts giving aid to USA.It took just 40 years. Last week THE day arrived. When Indian ambassadorin Washington DC handed over a cheque of US$ 50 million to the US govt, twoplane loads of food, medical aid and other relief materials were waitingto fly to the USA. Time to break the fast? With no bad feeling about theUSA, and good wishes for the Katrina victims, this humble Indian feels proudof the distance India has covered in 40 years. Let's celebrate a NewIndia!"
- Vijay Kranti.