Today we witnessed a cremation in Sudan. This is the only crematorium, situated under Umbadda District near Jabel Al Markhiyat and maintained by the Indian community in Omdurman. The crematorium is well designed with cross ventilation and the pyre with dry wood and straw is placed on an iron stand. Ibrahim is well skilled to undertake the cremation till the end. Fortunately this crematorium is available to expatriates like Japanese, Chinese and Hindus from India. We are grateful to Sudan for their open mindedness and extremely thankful to Dr. Anil Kumar Mithani Urologist and President of the Indian Community in Omdurman. Dr.Anil who is a son of the soil, went out of his way to help us.
‘Burn him not up, nor quite consume him, Agni: let not his body or his skin be scattered,
O all possessing Fire, when thou hast matured him, then send him on his way unto the Fathers.
When thou hast made him ready, all possessing Fire, then do thou give him over to the Fathers,
When he attains unto the life that waits him, he shall become subject to the will of gods.
The Sun receive thine eye, the Wind thy Prana (life-principle, breathe); go, as thy merit is, to earth or heaven.
Go, if it be thy lot, unto the waters; go, make thine home in plants with all thy members.’
— Rigveda 10.16
During the holy month of Ramadan, more people are online and thus the net connectivity is poor. The connectivity should be stronger during Ramadan because advertisers are spending more money on digital commercials to catch on with Ramadan Rush. I picked up the day-wise prayer timings for the whole month as a promotional campaign for an FMCG item. A commercial video for fruit juices, very well blended with Ramadan, caught my attention which I am sharing with you. Ramadan Kareem
Fruits play a major role in life. Some are forbidden while some speak of success. Most of them are tasty. Some are discovered late in life. Like how I recently tasted the Persimmon. A native of China, the persimmon spread to Japan and Korea. Just slice it and eat the flesh. No need to peel it, as some suggest. Don’t forget to wash it with water first. It has a mixed taste of ‘Chiku’ (Sapodilla plum) and ‘Taal Sash’ ice apples of palm fruit. Persimmons contain health benefiting flavonoid poly-phenolic anti-oxidants such as catechins and gallocatechins in addition to having an important anti-tumor compound, betulinic acid. Catechins found to have anti-infective, anti-inflammatory and anti-hemorrhagic (prevents bleeding from small blood vessels) properties. Persimmons are also a very good source of vitamin-C and other vitamins and minerals.
I had seen Persimmon before in the supermarkets of Khartoum but never tried them until Zahir, my friend from Dhaka, who works with the UN in Darfur made me taste it. Thanks Zahir for introducing me to ‘Kaki’ the Japanese name for Persimmon. I need to find out whether the Persimmon in Khartoum is ‘Shi’ or ‘Kaki’, ‘Shi’ being the Chinese name.
Today I did something very thrilling. I saw him on his two wheeler riding in the street. I followed him and stopped him. He said he was on duty and on his way to deliver Pizza. I asked his name and took his picture. Not because he looked smart in his uniform wearing a helmet. Not because he was riding a scooter which was attractive and designed to advertise. But because Mohamed Osman was working on a Friday.
No, I’m not in Libya but in the peripheries of Omdurman (Sudan) known as Souk Libya. Enjoying field work with colleague Ziyad Tarig Nimir. Three decades back, goods used to be imported from Libya and sold in this market, thus the name Souk Libya. Today only the highway remains, going to the Libyan desert.