Ramzan: Nights full of life in Purani Dilli 

In the walled city from Iftar to Sehri, the streets and mosques are crowded. It is in this month that one finds difficult to enter shops and mosques. Take a peek into Old Delhi through our pictures

NH Photo by Pramod Pushkarna
NH Photo by Pramod Pushkarna
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S Khurram Raza

NH Photo by Pramod Pushkarna
NH Photo by Pramod Pushkarna
Young girls play in the rain at Jama Masjid just before the break of the fast
NH Photo by Vipin 
NH Photo by Vipin 
Naushad, whose family has been selling fried fish and chicken for 45 years, says during Ramzan they sell pakodas too as it is well liked during Iftar. “During Ramzan, we sell ₹3,000 worth pakodas daily and those which aren’t sold by Iftar, we distribute among poor and staff people,” says Naushad.  

It is during Ramzan that regular announcements are made to keep the mosque clean and take care of the kids. It reminds people to be vigil and maintain the sanctity of the mosque.


After the Maghrib prayer, when it is time to break the fast, people move towards the market and hotels. The whole Chitli Qabar road is crowded with those enjoying Korma, fried fish, shahi tukde or buying clothes, shoes and purses.


“During Ramzans, the nights are full of life, the shops and eateries are open till sehri time (3.50 a.m.),” says Aijaz Noor of Lal Kuan. Aijaz recollects ,“Since childhood I have been seeing that a person knocks every door in the night to awake people for sehri, the pre-dawn meal, and he is not paid but on the day of Eid people do give him cash and gifts”.

NH Photo
NH Photo
Three brothers Salahuddin, Rafiquddin and Nasiruddin (not in the picture) have arranged Iftar for three hundred people. “For the last forty years we have been doing this just to help the needy Rozedaars (persons who keep fast) and now the number has reached to 300 people,” says Nasiruddin


“People come from all over Delhi to eat Nahari at Shabrati hotel and lovers of fried chicken and fish rush to Mohammad Hussain shop,” shares Noor. “Earlier, there used to be shabeena (recitation of Quran in Tarawih in one shab (night), but it doesn’t happen any longer.


The faithful inside and around Jama Masjid are of the opinion that sure that neither the heat nor the demonetisation has dampened the spirit of Ramzan. Without food and water for 15 hours is a real test in this hot weather “When it comes to Ramzan the Muslims are so enthusiastic that nothing can affect their spirits” says Shakir.

NH Photo by Vipin
NH Photo by Vipin
“For 22 years I have been selling dates here (Jama Masjid) and the month of Ramzan is the best month for me as the sales goes up from a mere thousand rupees daily to almost ₹15,000 daily,” says fifty-year-old Naeem Khan. Khan says that there are forty types of dates and Ajwa is ₹2,000 per kg, the costliest of all dates. “It is often said that Ajwa helps in curing heart diseases,” adds Khan. It is also believed that Prophet Mohammad said, “If somebody takes seven Ajwa dates in the morning, he will not be harmed by anything”. Among 40 varieties of dates the price of dandi wali khajoor is ₹500 per kg. ‘Amber’, ‘Mabroor’ and ‘Irani’ varieties of dates are in great demand too.

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