It is after years that Asif Ali is home during a Ramzan season. That too because rain played spoilsport in the shooting of his production 'Kavi Udeshichathu' being shot at Iritty. Asif didn't waste much time thinking what to do next, packed off straight to Kannur, his wife Zama's place. This time, after years it is a family Ramzan time for the young star whose festival release, 'Anuraga Karikkin Vellam' is reaching the theatres soon.

asifMammooty- The role model

Ramzan had its benefits for every child, among them that one needn't stand for the assembly, coming late was pardoned and sleeping was permitted on the backbenches if the child was exhausted by afternoon. To me these were the great goodnesses that Ramzan embodied.

My grandmother, Zara Beevi was the one who told me that the good deeds done during Ramzan draws thousand times the blessings than when done during the normal days. She was the most important inspiration to do good and avoid evil during Ramzan. Not only were blessings available, grandmother also ensured excellent food for breaking the fast. She always ensured we broke our fast with the prescribed healthy dose of two dates and then a glass of lemon juice with some cuscus, followed by a sumptuous meal after an hour. 

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The major losses during the Ramzan season were that TV and movies were banned from our house during this period. Grandmother was the architect of this ban. But she would always compensate by giving us the money to go for the Ramzan release movie at Movattupuzha.

asif

Sakkat was another major project under my grandmother's monitoring. I and my cousin were in charge of the sakkat distribution that would commence after the 15th day of the fasting month. Rice and money were distributed to all who came asking. At times it feels the blessings are still being showered on me for that unknowing act of kindness from childhood.

Then comes the bumper attraction, 'Perunnal padi', a small token amount given to children during the festival like 'vishukani'. Depending upon age and time, I remember having recevied amounts varying from Rs 10 to Rs 500 till my final year in college. The amount, how much ever, was a major source of income those days.

asif aliOnce I was in the cine field, Mamootty became my spiritual guru. A busy man, he still prays five times a day. He was the perfect muslim I met, praying five times a day in his caravan even with the busiest of schedules and leading a perfectly disciplined family life.

I got to spend a lot of time with Mammooty when I was acting in the movie 'Jawan of Vellimala'. He never missed a namaz and would remember the lord in his everyday life like a true bred muslim would do. I could not have wanted any thing more to get inspired, if such a busy man can stick to his rituals so religiously, then why not me? From that day onwards, he has been my spiritual role model.

Umra Experience

Mecca and Medina were always on my dream list- more as a tourist than as spiritual seeker. When I finally had the means to go, I did finally pack off to Mecca once. Wrapping the traditional Ihram and moving towards the shrine, I could feel a hitherto unexperienced spiritual surge in myself. My heart was filled with Dhikr and I changed my plan to leave Mecca quickly, instead staying there for three days and attending every single prayer.