Indian Hindu who loves the holy month
Being around Muslim friends fasting had a knock-on effect for entrepreneur who came to have more thought and sympathy for those in the world who do not have enough to eat because of poverty.
AJMAN // Although he is a Hindu from India, Ramadan is a special time for Jaideep Sai Naidu as it is a good month to socialise with his Muslim friends and enjoy many iftar meals.
Mr Naidu may not fast continuously or pray during the holy month but he does appreciate the spirit of togetherness that is everywhere.
“The best part of Ramadan, regardless of whether you see your friends or not throughout the year, is that at this time everybody starts getting together and people call me to invite me for iftar meals with them,” says the 24-year-old.
“During Ramadan, I receive between 15 to 20 iftar invitations as 90 per cent of my friends are Arab Muslims.”
Mr Naidu’s parents also get in to the spirit and invite the family’s Muslim friends for iftar at their home, offering a variety of cuisines.
In addition to his love of iftars, Mr Naidu said Ramadan was great because there was so little traffic on the roads, working hours were reduced and there were always great offers on products and services.
“Everywhere you go there are offers and sales and great deals, not just for small things but also all the way to cars,” he said.
“It is like the second Dubai Shopping Festival for everyone.
“Also, everything is open until late. You feel like life does not stop.
“People like me can generally enjoy themselves until late, and then I even go to suhoor with my friends.”
The entrepreneur, who runs a start-up construction company, was raised in the UAE and has witnessed many Ramadans. His curiosity led him to read the Quran.
He is engaged to a Muslim woman and will, in time, convert to Islam and participate in the more arduous fasting part of Ramadan.
“I do respect that fact she fasts and works while fasting,” he said.
“I avoid eating in front of her although she says it is fine and sometimes she insists, so we go to a restaurant in a hotel.
“She sits and I eat but I do not feel comfortable because it is not good to eat in front of her.
“I will probably fast three to four days in Ramadan but it is never planned.
“When I wake up, I sometimes forget to have my breakfast, which means I have to wait till lunch at 2pm but sometimes I wait till 7pm and so have fasted a full day.
“It is a nice learning experience.”
Mr Naidu said days of fasting taught him the value of food and how the poor, hungry people in the world must feel.
“You feel you want to help, donate and give to charity,” he said.
“With my fiancee’s encouragement, I end up once or twice during Ramadan visiting orphanages and elderly care homes and that makes me see things in a different perspective.”
Updated: May 25, 2017 04:00 AM