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Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Fasting


Do you fast? Are you impressed by people who fast? I fast, off and on, and I find it nothing special....since I allow myself tea. If I can have a hot cup of sweet ginger tea whenever the desire takes me, I can overcome great huddles of life, in a state of pretty equilibrium. 

Nani, who was old...all nanis are old, hence the name....kept 'nirjal fasts' (without even water) for Shivratri and Janmasthmi. And she did all the housework, plus making fast-food (pure food allowed for fast-ers...puris fried in ghee, strange other delicious stuff made from exotic flours, sweet dishes made from condensed milk and sugar) for the rest of the household and neighbours. 

Now that was kind of impressive.

Ramzan is impressive...to me....a month's hard fasting, even for children! Not swallowing one's own spit! 

In this country,  even the poor who anyway don't have enough to eat normally, fast!

How do political leaders think it an impressive or effective form of protest?

Fasting!! Let's see....you are a child and you whack your sibling hard! Your father begins fasting! Are you suitably chastened? Or will it make more of a lasting impression if your dad walked in and belted you on the backside?

A fasting father would not have made much of an impact on me. My dad ROARED when I misbehaved! He ROARED when someone misbehaved with me! I lived very safely with a roaring dad.

My mother roared too....she used her slipper very adroitly also...her running child almost always got nailed by her! Mum could cuff us for using a certain 'tone' of voice. It was not the words which she objected to (its difficult to object to words when we were addressing her as "Your highness, O Queen-Mother)...she objected to a disrespectful 'tone'!

I would have preferred a fasting mother!

(Since my mum will be reading this....all is fair in war and writings, mummy!)

So when people lie down on a platform, surrounded by supporters and begin fasting as a sign of dissent....I promptly lose interest! What is this damned fasting?? If one wants to make the blood flow, use rhetoric....use speech! Speak the truth...in magical words! Using different "tones"! Stand up and mobilize people....ACT!! Eat well and GAIN strength!

Giving up on food and drink merely makes someone a 'weak' leader! Figuratively AND literally!

Anna Hazare can fast till the cows come home....and he shall not be heard!

Our politicians are wilful children.....they do not understand anything other than a beating! They respect nothing other than a beating. They use raw power and understand only raw power!

Imagine a headmaster fasting in an unruly school!

Imagine an MD fasting to bring about change in his company!

Imagine us fasting when Pakistan bombs us! 

Imagine the terrorist fasting! (I wish he would!!)

Imagine a policeman fasting to protest against criminals!

Time we Indians gave up silly amateur theatricals and DID something whenever we wanted change.

Fasting is for old ladies....fasting is self discipline....fasting removes no real threat! Fasting brings about no social revolutions! 

Only blood brings that! And there is no substitute! 


Nishi

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