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It’s my choice to fast or not to fast, and no one has the right to judge me. I don’t need to fast to prove my love for my husband and children.
I love Indian traditions and believe in our values. Apart from some superstitions, I do follow our rituals and customs. And, one important part of our customs and festivities is fasting.
Many of our festivals like Teej and Karvachauth requires women to fast for the healthy and long life of their husbands. Similarly, there are fasts for children’s healthy and long life.
In my family, all these fasts are religiously observed by women of the family. And every year, with the starting of the festive season, I have to explain to everyone (everyone being women in family and neighborhood) why I don’t fast the way they do.
You see, I have a migraine problem, and being on an empty stomach for a long period triggers my migraine, sometimes to a point that I am lightheaded and nauseated because of the pain. So I refrain from fasting as much as I can, and if I have to fast, I eat fruits and other foods which are allowed.
And every time, during festivals or pujas which require fasting, I get judged or frowned upon, especially by some elderly ladies for not observing the fast or not doing it the way it is supposed to be and that is: “without consuming a drop of water”.
Directly or indirectly, I get categorized as “the modern girls breaking tradition” or “can’t even stay hungry for a few hours for her husband or child” and the most shocking one “doesn’t care or love her family enough”.
Like seriously? You are measuring my love for my family based on how long I can stay hungry? Well, let me tell you something, I do love my family, a lot, and it doesn’t have anything to do with my fasting capabilities.
What surprises me more, is that my mother-in-law who has been doing every fast for more than 35 years, but can’t continue due health reasons, is also made to feel guilty by some. What is wrong with these people? Are rituals and customs above a person’s health?
I want to say to all the women who have faced similar situations, just for their choice of not fasting or because they’re unable to do so because of health reasons – don’t let the judgmental stares affect you. It’s your life and your choice.
Author’s note: I mean no disrespect to anyone’s religious beliefs or culture.
Image source: shutterstock
Poorvi is a freelance writer and mommy blogger. She is an avid reader and a die-hard romantic at heart. You can find out more about Poorvi on her blog at beingmommynmore.
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