“This is too frenetic for me,” I sighed.

“The what?”

“The whole religious façade.”

I shifted my glance to the mannequins and clothing racks at the mall atrium. Clothing of all color and size were there, but the mood and styling screamed one image: Middle East. It is this time of the year again. Ramadan.

My friend paused for a second before continuing applying her maroon lipstick, “Why?”

I shrugged, “What is the essence of all of this? The so-called holy month, yet we are trapped in the gluttonous cycle. We fast and do all kind of ritual we can do, but once it’s 6 pm, we eat like wolves. We end one month of ‘religious journey’ with excessive spending. For the sake of donning brand new religious attributes, we buy all things unnecessary. As if our cupboards are not yet flooded with abayas and scarves.

“I get the symbolism. ‘Changing clothing as a representation of a new self’. But what is the purpose of going with the symbolic if we are to ignore the essence? Call it ‘holy month’ but where is the spiritual meditation? All I see is spend, spend, spend — privilege.”

Her lips were getting as dark as cinema’s seat. She put her lipstick back into her purse, we walked away from the mirror.

“I’m even tired of wearing this veil.” I sneered at myself. I could feel my friend choking, but I bet she has already understood my way of thinking. “It’s suffocating — not in literal way. I feel like I’m being part of the banality this way.”

“I know how it feels, but still, this thing,” She touched her veil, “is God’s commandment. I’m wearing it for Him and that’s all.”

I had no elan to argue on that.

“That is also the last reason why I’m still wearing it — despite the occasional rebel. The rest of it, the social aspect and all… I don’t know.” I snorted, “Nauseating.”

She chuckled bitterly, “I don’t know.”

“Yeah. I don’t know.”

Happy Ramadan, everyone.

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