Kerala

In Manjeri, lockdown tears down boundaries of religion

Hindu family shelters Muslim girl, observes Ramzan fast along with her

When Malavika, a student at an entrance coaching centre at Manjeri, was leaving for home on March 22, she found fellow student Lukmanul Saba alone and sad at the hostel. Saba, a resident of Agatti in Lakshadweep who was taking medical entrance exam classes at Manjeri, was unable to return home due to the travel restrictions imposed in connection with the outbreak of COVID-19.

Malavika’s family took her to their house in Manjeri. A month-and-a-half later, the four-member Hindu family is winning hearts by observing Ramzan fasting along with Saba. “We found her crying alone as all the others were leaving for home. Then we took her home. And now, she is like one of us,” said Malavika’s father Pradeep P., an employee at Eranad Taluk Office, and her mother Bindu, a teacher at Government Boys Higher Secondary School, Manjeri.

When Ramzan fasting began on April 24, Saba said she would manage with the food the family made and did not want anything special. But Ms. Bindu insisted that Saba’s choice should be given priority.

And thus the family began observing Ramzan fasting and celebrating iftar the way Muslim families do. “Now we are used to the Islamic way of fasting. We all fast along with her, and break our fast with her,” said Mr. Pradeep.

They make special dishes such as tharikanji, kichdi and pathiri for iftar. “It is amazing and heartening. We have wonderful iftars here together with Achan, Amma and my friends,” Saba told The Hindu.

The teenager said the boundaries of religion had crumbled before the love displayed by Mr. Pradeep and his family.

Saba’s father Abdul Rahman, an Ayurveda doctor in Lakshadweep, said he was proud and grateful for the love and care given by Mr. Pradeep and his family to his daughter.

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Printable version | Jun 3, 2020 9:59:08 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/in-manjeri-lockdown-tears-down-boundaries-of-religion/article31503791.ece

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