With the Akhri Daha of the holy Ramzan month commencing from Friday, there is much excitement in the air in the congested streets of Pocham maidan-Mandi Bazar in Warangal, which always come to life during this period of the year.
According to Islamic scholars, the Akhri Daha (last 10 days) is the most significant period of the Holy Ramzan as the devout observing Roza (fast) consider this time crucial to prevent oneself from landing up in Hell (Zahannum).
“The phrase Zahannum se nazaat explains that those sincerely observing fast in the last 10 days of the Ramzan month would not land up in Hell,” says Mr K. Nisar Ahmed, president of Madrasi masjid committee, the largest mosque located in Mandi Bazar in Warangal city.
For the usual Ramzan purchases like Namaz caps, sweets, Kenyan dates, Itrs (perfume), dry/fresh fruits to Harees, all are to be found only at Mandi Bazar, which is at the centre of a dozen Muslim populated areas like Charbowli, Sherpura, Kasimdula, Nizampura, Pochammaidan, Masoobali Mohalla, Papayapet Chaman.
Even for the delicious Harees dish, made of chicken, the most sought after place is Khurshid in Mandi Bazar.
For buying dry fruits, there is another Khurshid Kirana, a popular place for all sorts of fruits and dates. However, there is something unique that one comes across during Ramzan festivity in Warangal, which in course of years has cemented a culture of preferring only Harees to Haleem, which is prepared by using mutton, wheat and ghee. Presently, none of the seven Ramzan specific eateries lining the streets of Pocham maidan and Mandi Bazar serves Haleem, which is a popular dish in Hyderabad during Ramzan days.
The absence of Haleem from the eateries is also explained by the high cost of mutton (` 370/a kg) and ghee (Rs.260/kg), which make it unaffordable in comparison with the cheaper Harees dish. Incidentally, 70 per cent of the consumers of Harees in the eateries lined up in Mandi Bazar are non-Muslims.