My observations indicate (and medical experts will support me) that a bellyful of food is liable to generate lethargy and sleep. There is also the well known saying about the “hungry quail fighting better” and even our religion advises us to eat frugally. Why is it then that a change comes upon us in the holy month of Ramazan - a change that manifests itself in much reduced working hours and a tendency to simply lay off work even in air-conditioned offices? I often put this question to colleagues and friends only to be presented with scapegoats - hypoglycemia, dehydration, nicotine and tannin. None of these individuals ever take into account the fact that they consume copious quantities of water and sugars at Sehri and Iftari and addiction to tobacco or tea is simply a state of mind.

A pragmatic look at Ramazan will show that in real terms, the changes that occur in our dietary clock are no big deal. What they really come to is the shifting of our regular breakfast into the pre-dawn slot, skipping lunch and topping off the day with an early dinner. By all logic, this regimen should make us active and more productive, but this does happen. Construction work slows to a standstill, office output reduces and the nation goes into a state of somnambulism.

The end of the holy month heralds the advent of Eid. This is an event that celebrates the end of fasting and with it comes an exodus of people, proceeding to their homes on leave. One cannot deny the imperative need of families celebrating such festivals together, but when this absence extends beyond the prescribed holidays or leave applied for, one begins to understand why we are stuck where we are.

Driving to work today, I unconsciously began looking at the street lights on Islamabad’s Jinnah Avenue on the stretch from Faisal Avenue Underpass to the Ninth Avenue. Now in my reckoning, proud nations make it a point to showcase their buildings, roads and the like for the benefit of visitors and the subsequent impression they carry back with them.

Regretfully, the apathetical approach of the Capital Development Authority (CDA) has ensured that almost 80 percent of these lights are either broken, without bulbs or missing. I saw at least one of these lights still burning as a grim reminder of the frivolous manner in which our power shortages are treated by a government controlled entity.

A friend of mine recently had a nasty knock, when his car hit a motorcycle on one of the service road intersections in Islamabad. I was one of the people that reached the spot to offer help and was appalled to notice that dense wild growth blinded traffic approaching the intersection creating ideal conditions for a life-threatening accident. I have advised my friend to sue the CDA for negligence, but his amused looks and gentle nature will preclude such a happy event ever taking place.

There is a stretch of Murree Road from the Convention Centre to Barakahu that my readers need to be wary about. This is where delinquents from the twin cities gather to perform racing stunts on their motorcycles. I have no sympathy for these suicide seekers, but I am prepared to give the benefit of doubt to their parents as they may not know what their offspring are up to. Doting fathers and mothers need to realise that their inability to keep an eye on the activities of their youngsters may have tragic consequences.

A befitting end to this week’s column came in the form of a comment from a member of my family, who on reading one of my pieces spontaneously responded that I wrote ‘angry columns’. I know that this comment had the ring of truth, as a look at the stuff happening around me only helps to produce angry words from my keyboard. I await the day, when things will change for it is then that the tone of my column will change too.

The writer is a freelance columnist.