By Novid Shaid, 2011
When this Goofy Gora did a roza once in Ramadan,
He fasted so well, he made us all feel real bad.
He took it so seriously that we thought he was mad,
this Goofy Gora who did a roza in Ramadan.
His name was John, a goofy, grinning, IT man,
said he was intrigued by Pakistan
by the people, their customs and their mysterious lands
so he said he’d do a roza in Ramadan.
We gave him some books to help him understand
And he said: “You’re the best colleagues that I’ve ever had!”
He read all the books with such enthusiasm,
that now he knew more than us on Ramadan!
So he got up for sehri and ate some porridge and bran
learnt the dua for the roza like a Musalman.
He asked us about sehri, we struggled, to which he began:
“In the book it says sehri is sunnah in Ramadan.”
Later in the office, working, starving and mad,
We mumbled and grumbled about our local imam,
But the Goofy Gora cried: “hey, listen lads!
No ghiba in your roza in Ramadan!”
During our lunch, we rushed out for the Zohr jamaat
down the local masjid, it was a little bit far.
Then while we were walking, the Gora stopped by in his car:
“I’ll give you a lift; for the sake of Ramadan.”
When the day had ended, the Goofy Gora looked sad
Coz we all decided to meet in a restaurant
To open our roza together as the likely lads
Forgetting to invite the Gora with his roza in Ramadan.
Later that night, we all dreamt of a terrible man,
With hooded cloak and mean like the guardians of Azkaban,
He stood like a giant, looking menacing and grand.
Then he thundered, giving us all a powerful command:
“Your Lord He loves your Goofy Gora who fasts in Ramadan,
And for the sake of him, He will not punish your manners so bad,
Take a lesson from him, look after your rozas in Ramadan,
He’s the greatest friend that you could ever have!”
The next day at work, struck to silence and regretful calm,
one by one we asked one another about our dream of the man,
when we realised the truth we dropped our heads feeling damned.
coz there was no sign of the Goofy Gora who did a roza in Ramadan.
When we asked our boss, he said, he didn’t understand,
the gora phoned him late at night and said he was going away real far,
He never came back, and we learned a lesson so hard,
To do our rozas like the Goofy Gora in Ramadan.
Until during one year, we all attended a biyaa’
One of the lads was getting married back in Pakistan
We all headed there quite sombre, now we were all like mullahs,
But deep within we felt shame for the Gora and his roza in Ramadan.
We got to the wedding in this village, in the pind of Punjab,
Where we saw something so crazy, we couldn’t understand
For who was performing the nikah for this girl and our lad?
No other than the Goofy Gora who did a roza in Ramadan!
We watched him in shock, for this was completely bizarre!
He stood there reciting Arabic like he came from Arabia,
On his head a shining turban, and for dress, a kurta
The one and only Goofy Gora with the roza in Ramadan.
After the nikah, we approached him from afar
He recognised us, smiling broadly like we were long lost yaars
We all embraced and still couldn’t believe he was the gora
That same Goofy Gora who did a roza in Ramadan.
“Thanks again!” he said, ”for those books by Abdul Qadir of Jilan
I liked them so much, I travelled to study here in Pakistan,
I learnt so much knowledge here, that now they’ve made me Imam,
I’ve even learned the local dialect of the Punjab
Mei tossee ke faluda kelaasaa as now it’s not Ramadan
And let’s not dwell on the past but this is how it all began
You gave me some books, because I did a roza once in Ramadan!”
gora: Urdu/Punjabi expression for white/English person
roza: Urdu word for fast, abstaining from food/water
sehri: Urdu word for pre-dawn meal before beginning the fast
biyaa: Northern Punjabi for wedding ceremony
pind: Northern Punjabi for village
kurta: long tunic worn traditionally by Asians in the Indo-Pak region.
yaars: friend in Urdu
Mei…kelaasa: Northern Punjabi, “I will buy you a faluda (sweetened milk drink/popular dessert in Pakistan”)