Pakistan has forgotten the true essence of Ramazan

Published: June 28, 2016

This year, Ramazan has been anything but blessed and peaceful, considering we have witnessed the heart wrenching death of Amjad Sabri, the unfortunate kidnapping of Awais Ali Shah, and not to forget, the increase in mugging and theft throughout the city. Sure, we’re fasting, but is that really all there is to Ramazan in Pakistan?

Amidst this chaos, I came across a Pakistani advertisement on television, directed by Vasan Bala. It’s a heart touching ad that depicts a little boy who wears new clothes for the festival and runs out to meet his friends. They spot an old sweet vendor whose cart is stuck in a groove and, hence, is unable to sell his products.

What the children did next is what took my breath away. They scooped up some samosas and jalebis in their kurtas and rushed into the market to sell them just before iftar, while the grateful vendor stared at them in surprise.

Towards the end, we see the boy panic as his new kurta became greasy. But his proud, tear struck mother reassures him that since those stains resulted from a good cause, they are ‘good stains’.

The advertisement touched many hearts. The director of the box office hit Lunchbox (2013) has put together this two minute masterpiece that so easily endears the heart and invokes feelings that hit straight home.

It’s a reminder of what Ramazan truly means. We’ve seen other strong advertisements this year too, including a mobile phone advertisement promoting women’s empowerment. While it received mix reviews; some absolutely loved it and others offered their share of criticism, I personally felt pretty indifferent towards it.

But the same cannot be said about this particular ad – it moved me. In fact, for the first time in a long time, social media didn’t have anything negative to say about an advertisement; everyone has loved it: