In the good old days, the sahar khwan would either beat a drum or play the bugle. At times he would wake people up with melodious song. And they enjoyed it. At the end of the month, he would receive handsome recompense from every household in his ‘jurisdiction,’ and countless blessings for ensuring that the devout did not miss sehri.
Sheru lives in an area where the sahar khwan used to play the bugle. It was soothing. The worthy also remembered the names of all elders in the area and would call them by their names, urging them to wake up to invoke the blessings of Allah the Most Exalted.
For children, the sahar khwan was a hero. They would jump with joy on seeing him selling corn in the summers.
Now, it so happened that the revered sahar khwan of Sheru’s area passed away, and the replacement proved a total failure. He voice was far from melodious, and people did not like him. But still, he was tolerable. There was no rhythm to his drumming, no beat. With the passage of years, people got accustomed to him.
Then he too passed away, and Sheru heaved a sigh of relief.
Sheru should have waited.
The new incumbent makes Sheru beat his chest.
He does not believe in beating the drum. According to him, people cannot be woken up by melodious hymns or rhythmic beats.
“You really have to grind it into people to get them wake up.”
Now, Sheru has the privilege of having rangeen dreams for eleven months. But in the holy month of Ramadan, the rangeeni goes on holiday.
Sheru does not mind, but does not tolerate anybody, including the new sahar khwan, to awaken him in such a crude and rude manner.
One night, or pre-dawn, or whatever, Sheru forced himself out of bed to take a look at the bey sura sahar khwan through his window. Good God! The fellow was beating a metallic can, also called teen in Kashmiri. Teen wayun is a Kashmiri adage. It is used to make fun of people. Sheru does not want anybody to make fun of the great people of Kashmir. Sheru showed his resentment.
The matter was taken up with the Mohalla Committee, but without results. Sheru was told not to worry about rhyme or reason.
“He has wake up people. This can only be done by making noise. We need a good amount of money to buy him a drum,” the Committee told Sheru.
What has happened to them? There has to be a system in place, especially for the holy month of Ramadan. This is what Ramadan is all about.
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