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Love in Ramadan

She comes early in the morning at seven and finishes up the household jobs by eleven. When she first entered our home, I thought she looked as if she was around my age, around 19 or so, unmarried. Her smile sparks up a sign of serenity in our chaotic lives. She never complains, if we ordered her for multiple tasks at once, she abides by silently, without a sign of grimace, and slowly continues her tasks one after another. Unlike the other previous house-helps, Jasmine is different. Not because she does all the house-chores in a happy or quite manner, but because she taught me something that my parents have been trying to find in me ever since my brother was born!

It is Ramadan now, Jasmine often comes late in the morning around ten, but that doesn't bother us. We know that even if it takes the whole afternoon, Jasmine will finish her assigned jobs and help mom with other preparations for Iftar. Even being a house-help and helping mom in such a manner did not change me. What changed me is a complete different story. One day after Iftar, I saw Jasmine was packing something in her tiffin boxes. I thought she probably couldn't eat the whole meal that we gave her. I asked her, “What is that? Couldn't you finish your meal?”

She smiled at me and said, “Yeah I did take my share. I am taking some for my brother and sister at home.”. She opened the tiffin box lid and I came to realize that she had not eaten anything except for the date fruit and the apple that we gave her. She smiled at me. “You are doing so much for your brother and sister! What if they do not do anything for you when they grow up?” The sister's eyes gleamed in joy.

“I wouldn't mind.” She said, “I would probably forgive them thinking that they are younger than me!”

It suddenly struck me that I, someone who gets anything she desires, someone who never has a shortage of three meals a day and someone who is quite rich compared to Jasmine, I often scorn at my brother for silly reasons. My eyes were wet. I moved away form my kitchen and to my bedroom. I wanted to throw myself at bed and cry my heart out. But, I saw my little brother sleeping on my bed. He often does that to annoy me. Usually I shoved him off! Today I decided not to…

By Shamma M. Raghib


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