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Gurujee saved me


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Yesterday (Wednesday) morning as I waited for my college bus, I totally forgot that it was Ramadan, the Islamic holy month when Muslims fast from sunrise to sunset. My throat felt dry, thanks to the heat, and I had a can of Sprite on the side of the road at 10.15 in the morning when the roads are busy. Only after throwing away the can did I realize that I had done something forbidden here by law. I giggled to myself for the whole day thinking that no one probably wanted to mess with me, a hairy and scary person. But when I told my parents in the evening what I had done, they were severely shocked and told me that I had barely escaped, and that God had rescued me miraculously.

According to the law here, if you are caught eating or drinking in public during Ramadan, you are put in jail for the whole month, your head, face, eyebrows and eyelashes are all shaved off, and in the jail everyone starves from sunrise to sunset.

Gurujee saved me!

ps: I just want to make it clear that most people in this country are probably not even aware of such laws. I don't know how right I am on the kind of punishments you get, but a lot has happened with a good number of people whose only offense was eating or drinking (not alcohol) in public in an Islamic country at a time when Muslims were fasting. A friend of mine told me that a girl was slapped by a cop just because she was having something in public. One of my school teachers was stopped by the cops for having chewing gum (can you believe it?), this was ages ago. And my dad made it sound hilarious even more by saying "The cops will come to you in a very decent and gentle manner, shake hands with you, and ask you to come with them". What they do after that is every person's own story.

Now the part about shaving off your head, face, eyebrows, eyelashes, that is more of what I have heard, and am not sure if it actually happens or not. But in any case, they do keep you in for the whole month no matter how petty the offense is.

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