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Celebrating Ramadan night in the old city.
[Text and pictures by Mayank Austen Soofi]
Midnight hour. Jama Masjid - eyes wide shut. Matia Mahal bazaar - split wide open. Kebabs at Al-Jawahar restaurant. Hungry beggars squatting outside. Freedom to eat (the holy fasting time is during the day). A pretty girl asking for alms. A bearded man, with no moustache, lusting for her. Rowdy young men passing lewd comments on other pretty girls. Burka-clad ladies shopping for colorful salwar-kurtas. A hairy man getting his arm-pits shaved in a hair saloon. A boy in skull-cap trying to start his Enfield motorcycle (it’s not starting). A shopkeeper spraying out betel juice. A street ruffian taking out his shirt. Three friends shopping for Rs. 75 shoes. An old man buying underwear. Two young men hugging each other. A stunningly-beautiful woman amidst the crowd. She is walking with her husband. She glances at me. I stare back at her. She averts her eyes. I don’t. She looks again. At me. Allah.
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