Today is Janmashtami. Back home, we call it Krishna Jarma, actually janma or birth as I understand it now, but it's jarma for us and won't change, of course. Every Krishna Jarma, the women in the house fast. They perform pujas and play a game called 'likon' (don't know how to explain this game but it's quite like ludo), and when the clock strikes 12 am, the fast is broken. It is a strict vegetarian day.

Knowing I won't give in to the call for fasts, my mom's advice to me during these pujas were always, "Please be a vegetarian today." It's tough to remember and pay heed to the advice. Like today, I stepped out of office for a while and bit into steamy hot chicken momos only to realise much later,"Oh, its Krishna Jarma". And I forgot to be good!

I have never fasted in my life except partially when I am on detox. I remember a friend who kept fast for 14 Mondays to fulfil a wish. Another fasted on all Fridays for Goddess Santoshi Ma. And yet another for every Shivratri (to get a good husband I was told). Some resolve. Of course, the Muslims too fast a whole month during Ramadan. Hmm... the things people do in the name of religion.

I have often noticed the women who fast in the office for these special reasons and pujas. They stock their bags with fruits, aloo chaat and drink fruit juice. Not to mention the frequent breaks for tea. And they call it fasting, because they say those are uncooked food. Well, like my flexi yoga timings, perhaps flexi fasts! Quite a contrast to the fast that my mom and her friends used to observe, they hardly sipped even water! And this one is a bit of an extreme.

I am not religious, so fasts don't make sense to me. But it's a lot of will power staying hungry. So those who do fast have a lot of will power, I must say. I hate vegetarian food, too, nomatter how sexy it is. I hate festivals or weddings where the food served is vegetarian. I remember the last wedding I attended... such a dampener, not even a trace of egg. Now wedding invites mean using discretion -- for the love of food. As for fasting for God, that's a tough one. I intend to do good, instead :)

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