Zephyr, who writes here, is this absolutely amazing blogger whom I discovered thanks to Ratzz (take a bow Ratzz) and I love reading her…her posts are often humourous on topics with require serious thoughts and the way she puts them forth is something I love…her writing often reminds me of Suranga’s (I didnt add the ji, okie) writings …both have their lovely individualistic humourous way of looking at things which are of concern to the society and both put it forth in such a lovely manner that you cant but help think about it later….
Now Zephyr wrote a wonderful piece (I was in London so couldnt read it…catching up with the backlog now!) on feasting and fasting through festivals… 🙂
As I turned 29 last year, I realised I dont believe in fasting…and before I go ahead let me clarify here that I admire and respect people who have the discipline to fast…I really do..for me its one of the greatest tests of being a human…FASTING
When I was a kid, my mom never really was into letting me fast…in my class 6 and 7 I had girls in my class who used to fast on Tuesdays and Thrusdays..but my mom was never a big fan of letting kids fast..and then if you grow up in Gujarat, you have this festival called Gouri Vrath where you do pooja to Lord Shiva to get a good husband, etc etc
You did Goriyo for 5 years and then moved to doing the more difficult Vrat…Gujarati girls are known to start Goriyo from about 5 years onwards..so by the time they are 10, they are onto the more difficult form of the Vrat which is the actual Gouri Vrat which involves getting up at sunrise, and visiting a Shiv temple and doing pooja…
The vrat for 5 days involves eating no salt…so you can have dry fruits and fruits and milk…that mainly..some families allowed fried food like banana chips without salt or something in those lines…some days before the vrat, you sow lentils into a basket made of hay and then you do pooja of the grown lentils during Goriyo as well as take these grown lentils to the temple once you start off with the more difficult vrat…
I was adamant when I was in my class 4 or 5, that I wanted to do this..my mom wasnt too keen…for two reasons..one that I couldnt (still cant) sustain hunger…I would (still do) grow cranky, irritated and lashed out at anyone within 2 meters vicinity..and secondly this would involve buying a lot of dry fruits (I couldnt stay hungry remember) which were pretty expensive…(though ma never really told me the second reason…I realised that NOW! ya ya I am known in the circles to be a tubelight!)
anyways but I was adamant (I think the dry fruits had more to do with it..and also peer pressure upto a certain level..I mean if all the girls in the class are eating dry fruits and you open your dabba of idlis you do feel weird right!) and our maid was pretty enthu about it as well so she convinced ma to let me do it…appa said since his daughter was going to be on vrat so would he (lets face it appa, you were more interested in the dry fruits actually 😉 just like your daughter) and then ma just had to make rasam on day 2 and he said, may be I can just break the fast for one meal..see how much he loves me 😉
anyways to the surprise of my mom and many others, I completed 5 years after which I realised it just wasnt worth the effort…for me…I admit I was at awe at girls who continued all this in their class 10 and 12 and everything!
I couldnt and I just accepted that…
Post marriage, my MIL asked me to do Santoshi mata vrat on Fridays which I refused but settled to do the supposedly easier vaibhav lakshmi vrath which again didnt last too long because of the tiredness of travelling, managing a house, etc etc..and then I did Tuesday upvas for a while when R was suffering from asthma after she turned 1, but that again I realised was not my cup of tea
now at the age of 30, I have realised that some people can fast, and some people cant and I belong to the second category..
My MIL for example has been doing santoshi mata vrat for the past 27 years..yes I kid not..she doesnt eat anything on Fridays..and guess what I got married on a Friday..yes she didnt eat at her own son’s wedding..we tried to change the date of the wedding but she was adamant that her upvas doesnt really be a cause of concern…if I was as free with her as I am now, I would have put my foot down and disagreed to marry…my parents tried hard to change the date, but she was really adamant!
This is something which will hurt me all my life I think…I dont really think about it too much, but when I do, it does hurt
anyways, the whole idea of fasting on one day of the week is recommended even by some dieticians who say that its good for the body…
However, after trials and errors, I have to admit to myself that my body loves Food too much to let go of it…
Will I start fasting when I am older? I dont know..Maybe I will…but as of now today…I think I will just stick to ‘not fasting’
I think fasting is more a matter of mind than body..and somehow my mind is always on food when its not around if you know what I mean
I cant think of not eating…For me fasting means giving up on something very very dear to me..and knowing myself, I dont think I am capable of it….so currently fasts are a strict no no in my life…though may be 40 years down the line when I am a grand old lady trying to act smart, I will re-start it 😉