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So, as I mentioned in my earlier post that I have started reading non-fic, first one being Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell (review here) which was in one word mind blowing… So the next book that I chose was Super Freakonomics by Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner.
When I was in college I loved economics, so naturally the title of the book held a certain appeal to me and I jumped straight in… As anyone who have studied economics even just for the sake of passing the examination knows that economics studies the various choices a person makes keeping in mind his needs, priorities and the means to achieve them and how it affects the society as a whole… Usually these types of studies are done on large scale basis whereby the choices of not every person is considered but the behavior of whole cities and nations is taken into account and on the basis of the data obtained various governmental policies are formed, this is Macro economics. Boring stuff, I know but this book mainly focuses on micro economics and not because the data obtained will be used for some research but just out of curiosity. Yup, the writers of the book are just two very curious people… They are in pursuit of questions about people’s choices, the sudden changes in their behavior and what caused them, their motivations and the various incentives that plays part in their decision making.
See, the problem with such types of books is that it can be very opinionated. The ideas are sometimes so out of the box that it becomes rather difficult to wrap your head around it and sometimes it questions your beliefs. The latter happened with me when I read the book.
I am a Muslim by faith. The month of Ramadan and the religious practices associated with it is something close to my heart and not only me but all the muslims around the world celebrate and rejoice upon its arrival. It is the month where all adult Muslims fast from sunrise to sunset. The fasting are considered physically as well as spiritually cleansing.
Back to the book, according to the book, when expectant mothers fast during the month of Ramadan, they compromise the mental and physical health of their babies and it adversly affects them in the long run as well.. This really got me questioning the writers’ claim… I mean the normal pregnency period is 9 months long, and the month of ramadan come once a year (obviously) so if not all, most of the pregnant ladies fast, so in essence that means the Muslim babies whose mothers fasted are not properly developed.
I don’t agree with that at all, let me explain, when I was expecting and fasting I was in my fifth month, I used to get up for suhoor (early breakfast before sunrise) and went about my daily business and at sunset use to have a hearty meal (early dinner right after sunset) it wasn’t at all difficult because essentially you’re just missing one meal (lunch) and my daughter is very intelligent she has reached every milestone earlier than she was supposed to. She is perfectly healthy.
Those of you who think ‘how brutal is to force people stay hungry all day’ let me tell you staying hungry all day requires serious personal commitment, no one can force anyone to stay hungry if he can’t see the logic behind it,and the pure logic behind this whole act of fasting during ramadan is to cleanse the body of the various toxins that gets accumulated in the body throughout the year. Purifying the body of toxins how is that harmful for the baby? I fail to understand.
And Secondly, if due to some medical complications one can’t fast there is room for that person to skip fasting.. Islam is pretty logical and flexible that way.
And ofcourse the book discussed the events of 9/11 so there was the usual discussions involving Muslims and terrorists… I think every society and community no matter how small or big has their black sheeps that’s not an excuse to generalize people. I think people who are in a position where their opinions are heard and followed should make a conscious effort in presenting the whole picture rather than focusing on just one side of the picture. That’s just very narrow minded.
Even though I picked up this book with high spirits, it didn’t meet my expectations, granted, the later discussions were quite interesting if you are really interested in a discussion full of facts and elaborate examples. But I won’t be as enthusiastic if I come across another books by the same authors.
I would really appreciate your thoughts and opinions. Please feel free to point out any of my shortcomings.. Until then..