HYDERABAD: The bazaars are brimming with stacks of clothes, colourful caps embroidered in purple-pink-blue threads, pyramids of fruits, swathes of other goodies that cover the promenade around Charminar and have found their way to your home. Not to mention those tubs of piping hot spicy velvety haleem or boxes of biryani devoured after Iftar. While the sultry days are tough moving towards summer solstice preparing to bid au revoir to the thirty days of fasting, there are still a few more food items to be tried, fragrance to be dabbed on and delicately made dupattas to be don. Ten days and the markets will be quiet again. To make the most of these few remaining days of Ramzan here’s our list of ten things/items that you must do/try. Go ahead make May more memorable other than just the TVs blaring the election results.
Remember the Bollywood song: Banno teri ankhiyan surmedaani, yes we are talking about the age old make-up item which is very Oriental and has its own charm on the dressing table. It’s almost a ritual to apply the powder around the rim of your eyes with thin brass sticks. The surma or collyrium as it’s better known as was very popular in the old times especially in Arabian countries. The prophet (PBUH) used to apply it twice a day before prayers. Try it this summer before you throw that iftaar party. They come in beautiful shades of ash-blue and charcoal-black. Their containers in shapes of peacock, fish or a mango in brass or silver can really deck your dressing table. Try to grab a bottle of this eastern eyeliner from those little shops near Mecca Masjid which sell attar.
Save your Ted Bakers and Chanels for some other day. You can smell the peonies and pansies later. Try wood attars in tiny, diamond cut glass bottles sold by ratti which is actually 0.1215 gram. Go for warm smells of bakhoor or oud -- woods famous for their fragrant oils. These scented ittars also keep your nerves in check i.e., help reduce the stress levels. You can also offer your guests these scents on a silver tray or ittardaan.
The humble ‘Queen of the Night’ with its milky white flowers can never fail to impress. Line your biryani trays with a string or just thread them into your silver or golden hoops to give that old world Begum charm. And while you sit for prayers their fragrance keeps you feeling good and happy.
Bring the sizzling heat down with a glass full of baadam ka sherbet. Yes, you heard it right. Soaked almond ground into paste, dissolved into litres of cardamom flavoured chilled milk make for this delicious Ramzan drink. No, you won’t find it in any shop. Prepare your own glass and break the fast with it.
Honey coated almonds
A very Middle East thing. But they really come add up as great snacks after prayers and iftars. Or you can get them packed in potlis and gift your guests a sweet goodbye.
No, it’s not that street thing. It’s very much part of the Nawabi and Nizami culture. Many households have silver or brass paandans with etchings and semi-precious stones on them that are brought out on special occasions and the guests are welcomed with a gilauri. Go ahead, revive the royal custom. Give your home and guests a regal feel after that sumptuous spread.
This frothy winter dessert is actually prepared with dew and is light yellow in colour. Also known as Nimish it’s now available in different restaurants especially Green Park. The method of preparing this dish is tedious, but since now it’s available ready-made just use your online app and get it for your suhoor or iftar.
Velvet prayer mats
So when you have guests for iftar at home, it’s a tough task to give them all a separate prayer mat. Try buying the big cohesive velvet prayer mats from Nampally in bright colours like emerald, sapphire, ruby and topaz. You can always roll it up and take out the next year.
Rose Water Sprinkler
Better known as Gulaab Paash to sprinkle rose water on your guests to welcome them to your home. Bring these old charming pieces out from the almirah or if you don’t have a pair get one from the nearest silversmith. Your guests will love this old age custom of being welcomed with rose water. The pieces can double up as objets d’art.
Those diaphanous white dupattas with bel-boota and patti ka kaam look classy with a muslin kurta or Lucknowi chikan top. Team them up with kurtas in shades of fuchsia, aqua, lime and pistachio.