Iftar on the job: Ramadan is a simple, yet spiritual affair

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Iftar on the job: Ramadan is a simple, yet spiritual affair

Dubai - On most days, he breaks his fast along with a few other colleagues in a mosque in Karama's Hamdan Colony.

by Dhanusha Gokulan

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Published: Sat 11 May 2019, 12:00 AM

Last updated: Sun 12 May 2019, 9:21 AM

For 37-year-old Hassainar Mangalpady, Ramadan continues to remain a simple, yet spiritual affair. A waiter by profession, Mangalpady arrived in the UAE nearly 20 years ago and has been working at the Super Kid Restaurant in Karama ever since.
On most days, he breaks his fast along with a few other colleagues in a mosque in Karama's Hamdan Colony. "Sometimes, we go to distribute food packets in labour accommodations in Sharjah, Ajman, and Jebel Ali. On those days, we break our fast inside the delivery vehicle. I keep aside some water and dates on those days."
On days when the restaurant is busy, he and his colleagues break their fast at the restaurant. "We are prepared for all situations," he said.
A native of Kasargode in Kerala, Mangalpady arrived in the UAE when he turned 18. He moved from India to Dubai on his cousin's recommendation. "I am originally from Uppala. After completing my SSLC, I began working at a restaurant in Kasargode town. The restaurant is now closed down."
A father to three children, Mangalpady said he visits his family as often as he can. He explained: "I have three kids. I am yet to see the third one as he is only 10 months old. My oldest child is nine, a daughter who goes to school and my son is four years old. He is yet to go to school."
"Honestly, Ramadan has always been a simple affair back home. For Iftar, we end our fast with fruits, dates, some simple samosas, etc. Nothing very elaborate. It is the same here," he added.
When asked if Mangalpady finds it hard to work with food during Ramadan, he said:
"My shift begins at 12pm, and I am very used to being around food. I don't feel any different. There is some fatigue, however, I get used to it in a day or two. Our restaurant makes it easy for us this time of year."
Though operations remain as usual, Super Kid opens at 6am and closes by 11.30pm every day. Close to Iftar time, Mangalpady and four other colleagues, who fast together, head over to the mosque to pray and end their fast. "As soon as we hear muezzin's call for prayer, we walk towards the mosque and break our fast."
On Eid day, he catches up on some rest.
dhanusha@khaleejtimes.com

Dhanusha Gokulan
Dhanusha Gokulan


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