Pulling a Fast One

In traditional circles, it’s considered a Good Thing for women to fast for the people they love and care about. A lot of men think it’s a Good Thing too.

I wonder if these men have ever thought carefully about what they’re REALLY supporting.

If you don’t get my drift, read on.

In principle, a (voluntary) fast can be a great gesture of love. If your idea of love revolves around sacrifice and Bollywood Romance, a fast can be a great way to express that.

I mean, let’s face it. Hunger isn’t a pleasant feeling. If your partner’s willing to take that unpleasantness just for your well-being, she obviously loves you a lot.

Logical? You bet. Correct? Hardly.

Look at it this way.

No one can tell whether your partner’s fast REALLY makes you live longer. I mean, it’s really HARD to tell, damn it.

Between your love for Havana cigars, your tendency to “eve-tease” the women at the Judo club and your Need for Speed on the highway, there’s really no telling when you might die, fasting partner or no fasting partner. I mean, who knows, right? One Judo slash to the wrong place tomorrow and shazam! You’re dead. On the other hand, you could get lucky. Even an insurance company wouldn’t bet on precisely how much time you have left and how that might change with (someone else’s) starvation ceremonies.

So let’s not assume anything. Let’s take both situations into account.

Either fasting helps or it doesn’t.

Let’s suppose it doesn’t.

If your wife’s fast isn’t going to help you live longer, the first question you need to ask yourself is, WHAT THE EFF ARE YOU GUYS DOING?!

Tell her to cut that jazz and stop wasting both of your time. Do something REALLY romantic instead.

Have a candlelight dinner.

Adopt a puppy.

Watch a movie with her.

Have sex.

Whatever the hell you want to do. The world might be a crappy place but there are definitely better things to do out there than sit around and watch your partner whine about starvation.
Seriously.

But what if it doesn’t work like that? What if the OTHER scenario is true? What if fasting really does work and your wife is sitting there, right now, fasting for your benefit?

The answer, my friend, is that you’re in deep, deep trouble.

Think about it.

One morsel of food is all it would take.

Your lifespan would be reduced by a fourth.

Your insurance premiums would rise faster than you could say “unfair”.

You won’t have the pleasure of deleting the names of dead friends from your phonebook at the age of seventy. Instead, you’ll get deleted yourself.

You don’t want that shit to happen to you.
But there would be nothing you could do to stop it.

Effectively, your partner has you tied into a chair, and is carrying a loaded gun pointed straight at your head. Of course, she promises never to use the gun, but who’s to say she won’t change her mind when you refuse to get rid of that silly mustache?

You’d have to bow to her every whim and fancy. If you don’t, she can just proclaim a fast and then eat breakfast as usual. It would be like murder without the mess.

And god help you if you get a divorce or if you break up with her. She’d have every single frigging thing you own out of your grip in a flash, quite literally on pain of death. You’d have to use cardboard for furniture, and that would only be after she’s made you purchase all the cardboard she’d ever need for the rest of her life.

So if you’re male, and your partner’s into the fasting thing, tell her, ask her, request her, beg her to STOP. You’re going to lose either way if you don’t.

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21 thoughts on “Pulling a Fast One

  1. Nowadays it’s been reduced to just a ritual, even married Bollywood celebrities have high-profile fasts πŸ™‚ But in the old days it probably helped the ladies to lose some weight and also have people fuss over them and maybe indulge in some female-bonding. I seriously doubt if anyone believes in it anymore and I seriously doubt the sanity of anyone who does. But in the dark, old days (and to some extent in some parts of India even now) when widowhood was a state to be avoided at all costs (for obvious reasons) maybe it gave the married ladies some hope to cling on to. Faith is a strange thing, it is hardly amenable to reason πŸ™‚

    • I agree completely with the last part.

      Mindless faith is like a drug. It’s like alcohol. You can drown your fears and sorrow in it, and feel euphoric for a while. But it can end up controlling you after a while. It’s easy to end up becoming a slave to your own faith.

  2. Another ROFL post! Totally get your point. I have never missed a meal in my life for this silly nonsense (or for any other reason either). And it would make me distinctly uncomfortable to have people fasting for me. My mother once proposed I should fast and go to the temple for a husband. Number 1, I am atheist. Number 2, I did not want a husband. Number 3, Even if both above were not true, I still would not want God poking nose in my wedding decisions.

        • It’s like high-school puppy love, you know.

          When I was a wee fresher, all of three months old in college, I (very) briefly dated a girl who was really serious about this sort of thing and said that we should fast together as a proof of our “everlasting love”.

          She gave me a weird look when I told her that

          a) I honestly didn’t believe in it;

          b) A day-long fast was anathema to a foodie like me; and

          c) I didn’t think a week’s worth of dating was proof of everlasting love.

          These arguments were demolished with a single word (“silly”) and the whole fasting routine was done (by her) anyway.

          Like I said, we didn’t last long. :/

    • Yes, Visvanaathjee, I did question the mother of the jellyfish that I was married to a long time back, as to why men did not fast and pray for the long lives of their wives. The answer she gave me was the wife was disposable and if she died or something, he could get married again in a jiffy. On the other hand, the Bharatiya Naari could marry but only once and therefore it was in her best interest to fast for her husband. So all these fast etc are ‘for my own good’, apparently.

  3. Thank you for the Laughs… I have been against fasting for any reason other than an upset stomach. Of course, I had people(specially in-laws) tell me that I should fast form my husband’s well being(on Karwa Chauth and Ekadashi etc.). I refused, reason- very simple – I will fast for his well-being, the day he decides to fast for my well-being. All things being equal and I being his “Ardhangini”, implies He is the other Half. Until then he will take care of his well-being and I will take care of mine. We arent kids are we? Well, it set the precedant of not asking me to do things that doesnt make sense to me.

  4. On the day of my wedding, I was supposed to fast until I am actually married. Me being me, I was super hungry and there was no way on earth I would remain so until someone decided hours later that it was time. So I got some food snuck in to my bridal room and was stuffing myself when the entire IL clan decided to pay me a visit. I am sure they are all, till date, very surprised that my husband is not showing any signs of NOT living a long, healthy life πŸ™‚

    • Ack! That HAS to have been a sticky situation for you. Lol.

      But seriously, you were supposed to fast on your own WEDDING?! What kind of custom is that?

      Shouldn’t that be like a day of celebration for you?

  5. Makes sense for the old days. Husband dead? Well, you get to burn in the funeral pyre as well. You get to burn ALIVE at that.

    I don’t understand this particular ritual at all. I can understand people fasting for self discipline and whatnot, but to increase one’s husband’s lifespan? This too, I can understand if it’s illiterate people who are following this custom–but plenty of educated people do it too.

    • It would have made sense if it actually ACHIEVED anything. I mean, if your husband was actually a Rajput fighting the Mughals or something, you would have been pretty much doomed no matter how badly you starved yourself. Those spears and swords really don’t give a flying flip about how much a soldier’s wife has eaten over the last month, you know.

      If I knew my “friends” were all set to turn me into roast human, I would have stuffed my face with anything I could lay my hands on. It’s not like I’d live to get diabetes.

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