Together we eat

The busses would zip right by the window, only a foot apart. Some with people on the top, sitting with their bags of produce to sell to the market. Some would be first-class busses. The curtains drawn on the dark windows, the A/C was keeping the passengers cool and dry on the inside. It’s fine though, the weather is nice. The windows are open and the air and sounds and smells flow through. The seats creak with every turn of the bus as it weaves through traffic of other vehicles and of people with carts drawn by oxes or their own legs.
The time was getting near sunset. You can hear the restlessness in the people on the bus, waiting for sunset to break their fast. They remain silent though, but you can see them glance every once in a while at the sun that creeps towards the horizon. A person gets up to ask the bus driver if we’re going to stop somewhere for Iftar.
As the light outside grows dim, people begin to rummage through their bags, bringing out food, setting out dates and bananas with crackers for themselves and their small kids. We reach a town where the bus pulls over to one side behind other busses and trucks and cars for the same purpose. Everyone in the bus sits and waits silently for that first noise they’re all waiting for. Outside it’s still loud with people working on construction and people buying and peddling food at the last few moments before sunset.
For only one month a year, almost every single Muslim looks forward to that Azan to call for Maghrib prayer with the most attention they’ve given anything in their entire lives consistently every day.
The tap of the loudspeakers turning on brings a spike of excitement to your body.
As that cry peals out through the loud speakers of the closest mosque, you can almost feel the tension, built up high to the point right before sunset, melt within seconds into the most wonderful release not usually felt by most humans on the planet.
You hear the sounds of eating all around you. Almost as if that entire town sat down wherever they were to join each other in the largest restaurant you’ve ever been in. Energy begins to suffuse through the human mass around you as they all each gain some more energy to continue what they were just doing. The bang of the metal against metal of a construction worker has more gusto, the laughter of children is a little louder, the laughter of people brighter.
And the bus continues it’s journey.
Weaving through that traffic with more dangerous maneuvers, the drivers more alert.


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