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Friday, August 17, 2012

Fast unto fret....

Had my weekly chat with my parents back in India and my Mom happened to mention that one of my cousins had completed a 4-day fast. Now, for some background, I was raised a Jain. My parents still believe in Jainism, as do most of my relatives, including this cousin we are talking about. And Jains are sado-masochistically anal about the religious duties that are to be performed during their 8 day Paryushan festival. A lot of them have 8-day or less fasts, eat only boiled stuff, stay away from onions and other roots etc etc. And when it comes to fasts, it isn't like moving your normal diet to fruits and milk. Oh no, Jain fasts mean you live only on water, consumed between sunrise and sunset. Nothing before and after, respectively.

Now, this seems hugely impressive, and it is. Fasting like that for 8 days on trot. My elder brother did 11 and everybody is the family celebrated the second coming. Now, as any sane doctor or dietitian will tell you, losing 50 pounds in 8 days cannot be healthy and will have its repercussions. But that isn't what blew my top.

So, coming back to the Skype chat, my Mom mentions my cousin doing this 4 day marathon of consuming and committing nothing and consequently Mother beloved has to go to Mumbai for the formal meet and greet celebrating this human stupidity. As if this was not enough, Mom said that if I were to do something similar, she would visit me in the US. AND NOT OTHERWISE, BECAUSE IT WOULD COST A LOT OF MONEY FOR NO REASON!! And she wasn't kidding too. I asked her thrice again as to what she meant, and she meant exactly the thing stated above.

The only way I can represent my anger through words here is that I wanted to burn every single Jain temple down to the ground. It is exactly this kind of insanity in religion that justifies something that is totally unnecessary and yet denies something that is so simple and needed. Fuckin hate religion. And now, even more so.

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