The other night, I had a knock at my door. It was the daughter of the mesaharati, a man in the neighbourhood who walks through the streets banging a drum to wake up those who might otherwise sleep through the night and miss sohoor, the last meal before first light, when fasting begins. He's sort of like a human alarm clock, though you should, of course, tip him (which is why his daughter was tapping on my door). Friends say he’s been superseded by mobile phones but they still reminisce about their local mesaharati when they were young, and how the man would call out their names, to the children's delight. I guess the Christian equivalent would be Santa knowing your name.