What would RTH do?

That is the question.

If I were in a highschool yearbook, they would vote me most likely to die of a lynch mob. That does not prevent me from opening my mouth and serving a warm hearty cup of STFU to people who deserve it. My dark scathing humor will leave no matter of existence untouched. My innocence will touch your soul.

Welcome to a warped world turned inside out and upside down. All sorts of discretion advised.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

When the Heathen fasts (Day 4)

I'm not sure if the days seem to get longer or shorter as this week of fasting is progressing for me. At least the unusual experiences like extreme hunger pangs, thirst or choking on spittle is seemingly reducing. Not that I do not experience this. In fact my tummy still rumbles, the throat still feels parched - but by now its like, its supposed to be that way - like an everyday occurrence - normal.

One big advantage I think the Muslim community has over me is that they are not doing this alone. Its a collective effort. They don't have people tantalizing them. If so at least their family is in on this endeavor. Either way I survived another day of fasting while working. It is challenging, but its working out like c'est la vie.

However, I was hacking again and my coworkers said that its time for some tea. I worked hard and suppressing that scratchy feeling in my throat. Then another coworker made popcorn and offered it. Yum, hot buttery popcorn, the scent of it wafting through the air. No matter where I walked it seems the scent molecules had spread around to do a shock and awe attack on me to break my resolve. The results baffle me. Under normal circumstances, even on a full belly after a big meal, I would have pounced on a bag and grabbed myself a fistful of golden yellow kernels to devour. But I just went back to work and somehow shut down that part of the brain that transmitted the delicious scents. I had made a commitment and was going to stick to it. But still with no faith to believe in, no reward to expect, no one to appreciate the efforts, no one to respect the fast, nothing - what possibly could a heathen like me find strength in?

I was tested again at home. My sister brought fried fish for dinner. Crisp golden catfish for herself and some large juicy fried scallops for me. Along with that a side piled high with hot French fries. Eat it now, she advised, eat it now while its hot and crispy. I leaned forward and sniffed, I sifted my fingers through the mound of fries. I cannot I replied with resolve. It will be disgusting cold, she said. I'll warm it in the oven, I told her.

Then she pointed that the sun was not visible. The timing is till 8:15 I explained. Then she gave me a point to ponder. When Mohammad was around, he stopped when the sun was no longer there - he had no meteorologists to tell him what the precise times were. Hmm for a lay person with no knowledge of meteorology, the overcast skies hiding the sun - would probably have meant dusk. Who knows. I still stuck to my resolve and took my dog out and basked in the cool glory of nature. At 8 as I was closing to home, I saw the sky change hues under the setting sun. Aha its dusk only when the sky changes itself to a dazzling display of evening colors.

I was strangely full on the scallops and chips. I did not have my late night breakfast of nutella and waffles today. Just some bread. I'm consuming a bottle of water again before sleeping to be hydrated. Three more days to go. I'm actually feeling mighty proud of myself.

Lessons from Day 4

1) There really is power in numbers and the crowd phenomenon. It is just easier to do what everyone else is doing. It is not easy to be the only one doing something.
2) I wonder how much technology and ritual can go together. The point is the ancients did not have meteorology or technology, they relied on instinct and understanding of nature. As humans we have lost touch with nature to a certain extent. I guess intentions are in the right place.

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