In about a week, it’ll be that time of year again for us. Ramadan is coming. Just as it comes every year and every place where Muslims reside but somehow the coming of it, this very holy month, differs in flavor according to the place where it cometh. You geteth? I mean do you get it? No? Read on.

For the past decade, my Ramadan hasn’t been desi much. I get the Americanized version and I’m proud to say, I have survived it. Here’s how:

Survived without tooting my own Roza horn

For the past ten years, I’ve survived Ramadan without the overbearing chant of Aaj mera roza hai meaning don’t f***in’ piss me off because I’m so hungry, I’d freakin’ eat you alive!! Of course, going hungry for an entire day for thirty days is a free pass to misbehave, be less tolerant, throw hissy fits and tantrums and pick battles out of thin air because – I hungry because I fasting and you insensitive fool should care but you don’t so now I Hulk and I smash. You, of course, have the same rights if you’re fasting too. And no, please do not remind us that tolerance is fasting’s middle name. That somehow leads to more tantrums and more smashing. You see, if we’re being pious for our own good to earn our own Jannah, the world around us must bow down in reverence and hail us. That’s kinda why we do it in the first place. To seek approval of the people, and those who wouldn’t clap are just jealous.

Survived seeing everyone else eat around me

There’s food for sale everywhere even in Ramadan in the US. *Gasp!* And people eat at any hour they want, too. *Double gasp!* And none of that ruined my fast! *Ok, just die already.* In Pakistan, anyone eating during the day in Ramadan is demonized to the point of tears all in the name of respect for the holy month. Yes, earning respect for the holy month by insulting a fellow human being is the perfect and most practiced way. Point is, Pakistan isn’t exactly all Muslim. We do have our minorities who don’t have to fast and hence, they must bear that burden of being the odd ones out by going hungry because seriously for every samosa you eat, you infidel, we feel like unleashing hellfire on you. Yes, we got contacts in hell. It doesn’t really matter that self-control is also the middle name of fasting (fasting has many middle names), if you were to tell us that if by watching someone eat ruins our roza then we got bigger issues than just that person eating in front of us, we’ll fry and serve you for iftar. Shut up. Stop eating. And drinking. Your lunchbox shall be confiscated and pantry sealed till kingdom come…or dusk…whichever comes first.

Survived while working full hours like any other day

A 9-5 job means just that regardless of the month. Malls open and close the same way they do every day of the year and no Muslim employee ever cuts short duty hours saying you know what, I’ll call it a day because I’m fasting. If you have a profession that has no definite office hours (like a physician) then, it’s work until you’re done for the day. As a stay-at-home-mom, it’s the same full-time routine of a mom that even moms in Pakistan can relate to because they never get a day off either no matter which month/day/year it is – not even on Eid. In fact, especially on Eid! I suppose the only day we have off from ‘work’ is when we’re in labor, which is an irony in itself because that’s like…labor.

Shia, Sunni broke fast together and Islam survived

So, that happened. Continues to happen every Ramadan and guess what – Islam is not endangered or needs protecting. We continue to invite our non-Sunni friends to have iftar with us, as they invite us, and we all eat together, pray together, enjoy our Ramadan together, and nobody is shipped off to hell. So there.

Ramadan is a month for self-accountability and self-growth. The harder we try to do just that, the less distracting the outside world becomes. Come what may, we are capable of surviving Ramadan without drama.