CHENNAI: The usual ceremonial spectacle of all festivals has been reduced to prayers behind closed doors due to the COVID-19 pandemic. With the announcement of complete lockdown coming just a day before its implementation, a lot of Muslims said that grocery and meat stores had already run out of stock by they reached, resulting in dearth of the essential ingredients required to make the “Nombu Kanji” and other dishes with which they usually break their day long-fast in the Ramadan month.
Faizal Mohammed, a resident of Teynampet says, “The announcement came on Friday evening, leaving us with only one morning to buy the essentials. By 11 am on Saturday, most shops ran out of stock. We did not even get some pulses, which are the key ingredients to make the Nombu Kanji.” The issue is much more prominent in places like Royapuram.
One of the residents, J Nasrullah noted, “We broke our fast with water and only about 200 ml of rose milk, which we shared between the four of us as there was no sufficient milk. There is a shortage of all commodities in containment areas like ours, and we cannot even go to next street to get these groceries.”
A Farkhanda from Vadapalani said that they consume a lot of liquids during the Ramzan month to stay hydrated. He lamented, “There were no lemons available for making lemon water. These four days will be the toughest for the most of the people from the community.” Many expressed that they would have been prepared for the complete lockdown and stocked up for their fast if the announcements came in a little earlier. The city corporation has come up with a customised diet plan for Muslims who are in isolation after testing positive for COVID-19, if they want to continue fasting in the holy month.