The Fasting Fever

Every time I hear someone in my office talking about their ‘fasting day’ , I have a confused look written all over my face.  Especially when I see them gorging on biscuits which they claim can be eaten during ‘fasts’.  What was the idea behind staying hungry for an entire day, that too partially? My colleague whines that I  get the tastiest stuff for lunch while she is on a fast. :) Somehow, this has never gone down well with me, although I do respect other people’s opinions and their faith attached to ‘fasting’.  I never like the idea of holding the Almighty to ransom by forgoing a day’s meal.fasting, going without food

The major days for undergoing a fast is Monday, Tuesday and  Thursday. (why leave out the remaining three days and make them feel worthless! Never mind…) The concept of religious fasting is as old as the planet earth and Hindus are not strangers to this phenomenon. Some do it to fulfill their wishes, few do it  for a spiritual enlightenment and some, to simply shed off their pounds! I was never an advocate of the ‘fasting trend’ as I never quite understood the selective restrictions. For example, you can indulge in a packet of  hot fried potato chips while you are fasting!! Huh! Or treat yourself to a plate of Sago Khichdi. Who made these fancy rules ? And if you are constantly stuffing yourself , how are you fasting, for that matter?

Recently ,when we happened to witness the spectacular lunar eclipse and the world was going bonkers about the astronomical vision, some of my friends decided to fast on that fateful day! I was amused beyond explanation. Staying hungry because the moon decides to play hide and seek for a while!! And then it’s a different ball game altogether with people throwing or giving away food cooked on the previous day, emptying water cans and thus emptying the house of the lunar dosh. Gosh, I can write an entire post on some of the weirdest superstitions which we Indians believe in.

I always used to ask my mom about who decides what one decides what to eat while fasting…quite an irony, I know. She  used to give me blank stares followed by angry ones. :) Not that I cannot starve myself, but I do not see a logic to it. I can understand abstaining from meat or alcohol as it gives your system a  much-needed break, but going without food is simply going to give out embarrassing stomach growls. So while the entire nation decides to go hungry, including Baba Ramdev, I believe in living to the fullest and let the Almighty do the same! Amen :)

Phone Mannerisms

Talking loudly on the phone

Just when I was wondering what to post on my blog, my dear colleague yelled it out to me!!! Yes he literally did…and the entire bay heard him out too. He has a very annoying habit of talking (screaming) loudly over the phone. Although he might be a very good friend of mine, sometimes I feel that I should seriously let him know that he is talking on the phone to just another colleague of mine. Phew!!

Is it that  my ears are over sensitive or is it genuinely, an annoying fact faced by half of the world’s population? I live in Mumbai, already a noisy, dusty and a bit unorganized yet wonderful city. So my ear drums are used to loud crackers at any time of the day, loud public announcements, crappy Bollywood tunes remixed into devotional songs at the highest decibel during Navratri and other zillion Indian festivals. However, the one thing that gets on my nerves, is when people yell on the phone! A telephonic conversation is supposed to be T-E-L-E-P-H-O-N-I-C.

My workplace is full of people who believe in letting the world know what they had for breakfast, lunch and what they might not have for dinner. I already know that the girl sitting next to next to next to my cubicle is looking out for a house in Mumbai. I have the prices of real estate at my finger tips by now! In case any of you is interested, please reach out to me :) My colleague discusses Excel problems over the phone and at his loudest best. And that too, post lunch, when I am trying my best to look focussed. Please spare me the Math, dude! In fact, I have experienced this everywhere, so the workplace shouldn’t be an exception any more.

Have you dared to buy vegetables in the local market in Mumbai? I need not say anything further. The ear splitting shrieks of vendors selling their stuff is enough to make you run away to some corner of  the world. There was an instance when I had to tell the vendor that I am not deaf, lest he thought so. Talking loudly is not rude here or that is what it looks like. It is highly embarrassing when people talk loudly over their phones in trains, libraries, parks and ignore other people’s discomfort. I had overheard a guy in the bus, talking to his girlfriend rather fighting with her over the phone. Moreover, the fight came to blows with the use of expletives, which made everyone in the bus squirm in their seats. Thankfully, the person got down without causing further embarrassment to all. Then there has been the usual flirty and lovey dovey stuff, a girl fighting with her mom and yelling at her for not letting her go out with her friends. Sigh!

At times like this, the best saying that comes to my rescue is “Ignorance is Bliss”.