By now, you all must have discovered that I am a food fanatic. If I had to write a slogan below my name, it undoubtedly has to be – “Loves to eat and lives to eat”. I literally live to eat and not the other way round. No matter how mad I’m, it will never result in skipping a meal. On the contrary, I might hog more than usual to console my agitated soul. Food to me is therapeutic. I just remembered this incident where I had a fall during my 3rd month of pregnancy. I was waiting outside a shop as Abbas and his friends had gone to buy gift for the reception we were about to attend. Everybody insisted that I go back home, but I persisted to go. Nay, I neither knew the bride nor the groom in person. The sole reason was not to miss the Bengali fare that was waiting for me there. I had the best ‘Fish Paturi’ ever and the taste still lingers in my mind!
Having given the glimpse of my food fetish, lemme come to the agenda of this post.
RM did a post on fasting
a while long ago which triggered so many memories related to my experience with fasting. Here goes:
Pre-marriage, my (food fixated) family never fasted. There were some fasts during pujas or festivals which meant no-onion, no-garlic or no-rice. That was it about fasts, not anything more than that. That was however for adults and no such restrictions for kids.
Post-marriage, when the month of Ramzan was approaching I secretly consulted Abbas. He advised to fast only if I wished to. Being the ‘Notun Bou’ (newly wed DIL) of the house and looking at everybody else’s enthusiasm about fasting, I decided to give it a shot. Early before sunrise, Ma knocked our bedroom door and I woke up, freshened up and ‘tried hard’ to shove the morsels in. After a while, IL’s hurried “Eat fast. There’s not much time left”. I could not eat any more. Ma said “Drink water. Quick quick” Time was up. All I wanted to do was hit the bed again. Ma said “Repeat after me” and mumbled some Sura which I obediently replicated, sleeping with my eyes open. The hard-hitting time began as soon as I woke up after the sun rise. I was not even supposed to drink water. It was as though someone had restricted me from breathing. My li’l niece was there with us then and when she was served her meal, I uncontrollably drooled over her plate. I swore not to fast again. That evening when we broke our fast, FIL asked me “Seema, are you going to fast tomorrow?” I didn’t know how to put across my No for an answer. I was not gonna say Yes anyway. “Mmm… Pata Nahi” (I dunno) seemed to be the safest bet at that moment. FIL said “At least try to fast on Fridays”. That whole month I somehow fasted for 2 more days. (FYI, Abbas does not fast!)
So, in my 5 years of married life, all in all I have fasted for 6 days during Ramzan. I have not fasted for a single day during the last two years. I did not feel the need to punish myself in the name of God. What is the point in starving if it stops my mind and body from functioning? This year, Ma was with us during Ramzan and she fasted alone. Though Abbas and I genuinely felt for her when we hogged those Luchis and fish curries during weekends in her presence, we did not have any internal voice calling out to give her company. Somewhere I had read / heard a quote which is on these lines – “Don’t watch what is going into your mouth. Instead watch what is coming out of your mouth, for that is going to create a lasting impact”. Now this is what I say to all those people who advocate me on the importance of fasting!