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A Date With Ekadasi Vradham(fast)

Discussion in 'Snippets of Life (Non-Fiction)' started by Thyagarajan, Jul 24, 2021.

  1. Thyagarajan

    Thyagarajan IL Hall of Fame

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    :hello: A Date with Ekadasi Vradham(Fast) :hello:

    It was not even eight O’Clock - my goodness! so early, I have voracious appetite. I shouldn’t have woken up so early and showered so soon. It has always been there - the moment I finish with bath, I do get huge appetite.
    Now I think I can eat a horse.(sic)

    My stomach is making a hue & cry.

    “Ennanga?- Why don’t you have a small doze of coffee?” spouse Raji was suggesting from kitchen in a tone that was neither rude nor soft.

    “If only I had wished, I would on my own
    have prepared coffee- the moment I got up from bed. With great effort since early morning, I am resisting temptation in order to observe the Ekadasi fast to-day. Why should you at all tempt me with this coffee?” I reacted in exasperation.

    “Who wished you should observe Ekadasi Vradham?” I heard Raji’s distant whimper.


    Ah! All these ordeals are due to that seemingly innocuous free WhatsApp forward. The message proclaimed huge benefits of observing Ekadasi Vradham and posted curated findings of a detailed research undertaken by leading well-known American Research Organisation.


    The research institute claimed that those who faithfully observe Ekadasi Vradham(fast) would seldom suffer from severe or minor ailments even in their old age and free from any health issues that are normally associated with senility; and
    they continue to enjoy robust health & remain agile.

    The moment I finished reading this message, I vowed to myself that I would begin observing Ekadasi Vradham (fast). I checked up with snake almanac. The message received on Friday: next day Saturday was Ekadasi. It was office holiday. So I decided to observe fast next day itself.

    Normally on holidays, I never get rid of bed until it is 8 or after but that Saturday, I got up early and finished morning chores including bath before 6.
    Raji was tossing the foaming sandal-colour-hot-coffee from davra to tumbler; it’s flavour was permeating and wafting into the hall. I controlled my temptation with lots of discomfort.

    I declined when Raji offered & she insisted to have it: whence she softly said, “There is absolutely nothing wrong if you have coffee during fast”.
    Now at eight O’Clock, she is once again tempting me to have it.

    Around 9 O’Clock, I informed Raji that am going to go to a nearby shrine.
    As I was sauntering on sidewalk through numerous tea-stalls and restaurants, I enjoyed inhaling varieties of aroma emanating from fast frying onion & simmering masala, kurma & sambar.. It boosted up hunger.

    As I entered into the shrine, a thought crossed my mind. If any prasad is distributed, I can eat it within shrine and this would not come in anyway to diminish the sanctity of my Ekadasi fast.
    But then, it occurred that in shrines on Ekadasi day, no items of food would be offered to the Lord. So my hope of eating the prasad in lieu of regular lunch got dashed.

    I felt almost enervated. I got a whim. I just entered into a hotel. Ordered for coffee. The bearer in uniform, in endearing tone with mild smile said, “Sir, Idli-Vada-Pongal all are available hot”. I told him curtly, “fetch me just one coffee only and nothing else”.

    I mused “Just by having one coffee at hotel, would not in anyway diminish the fasting protocols. Now, to demand coffee at home, it would be embarrassing in front of Raji. So it is ok to let me have coffee here”.

    Around 11 O’Clock my office colleague Ram called on. My spouse brought hot coffee in single davra - tumbler set and placed it before him. Ram asked me “T - shall we share it?”

    Immediately my spouse interjected looking tad sharp at me, “should I bring for you too?”

    As force of habit, I nodded my head vertically up and down and was thinking of coffee that I had at the hotel a while ago but convinced myself that one more is not going to mar the quality of my fasting in any way!

    It was One O’Clock. Spouse set the table with fine display of regular lunch items stored upto brim in shining stainless steel vessels. She occupied one of the chairs and about to begin her lunch. Looking at me with compassion, she asked me, “ennaga? -would you like to join me for lunch?”

    “But I suppose you had cooked food for you only?” I enquired hesitantly.
    “How can you presume like that? Is it ever possible to cook only just sufficient for one person? Whatever I prepared would be sumptuous for both. Come on. I shall bring your silver elliptical plate”

    “But you already know that I am on fast!” I said with exasperation.
    “As far as I know, people observing Ekadasi fast would have food once during the day. You too can simply have food now and go on complete fast during night”. Raji responded.

    While I was having terrible appetite, I hurriedly said “then OK as you wish”.
    Today being first time, I will observe this Ekadasi fast with daytime lunch and once it comes into practise, I may not be ill at ease to go on for full day fast skipping altogether lunch and dinner in future Ekadasi-s.

    “Since you are going on full fast during entire night, I would suggest be generous now: eat as much as you can. I have prepared more food. You don’t need to worry that there may not be enough for me” said Raji in honeyed tone.

    While eating I couldn’t help wondering in the heart of heart, how she could be so eternally patient, guarding and guiding me. I could see in her doe-eye, the satisfaction of watching me eating as usual with heaps of white rice mixed with Vattha-Kuzhambu followed by pepper rasam and then the thick curds with buttermilk & lemon pickle too for touch.

    Then it was siesta time but am not supposed to have nap on the day of fasting. But with heavy lunch, I had to fight with myself to overcome the dizziness.
    It was time for afternoon coffee. Raji said, “ Look - you are going to fast night only. So let me prepare coffee for both of us. It is ok you know “.
    I just kept mum.

    After a while, tossing the hot coffee from davara to tumbler she came in front asking, “Do you like to have some biscuit?”
    I thought she was kidding me. With a wry face, I answered her,”No”.

    It was evening. She had gone to vegetable market. Despite heavy lunch, I felt all digested so soon and begin to get fresh hunger. I cursed my fast metabolism. Then, it crossed my mind of her asking me whether I needed some biscuits.

    I rummaged the tins in shelves and found three varieties of biscuits. I took two in each variety. There were, by biscuit tins - few small packets of mixture & masala pea nuts. I took two packets each variety.

    Surfing the TV, I enjoyed the munching and emptied the packets.
    When returned from market by six O’Clock, she informed me, “for night, I have got innocuous ripe banana for you. You need not go to bed on an empty stomach. No harm to your fast by taking just few bananas & milk”.

    Then she proceeded to unpack the bags and displayed on dinning table the items purchased from market. From that display, she picked up one packet showing it to me, said ”Look. This is from boli-stall. Hot bajji. Have it sampled”.

    Fast is only by night. Time is not yet seven. Therefore, I had in few bites finished entire bajji. It was quite warm and tasty.

    “You got banana for me. Give it now. Let me have it right away. Night I do not want to eat anything”. I told her in a firm tone.
    She gave me bananas; after eating those two large bananas, I felt stomach-full indeed.

    At 8 O’Clock, I heard her asking me “ennaga?- shall I give you now a glass of milk?” I said in excited voice, “yes-honey”. But strangely it was too soon that I felt hungry.

    “Before milk, do you wish to have little uppuma?”
    “Have you made it already?”
    “For me, I am going to make it. If you want, I can make it for us”. When she uttered the word “uppma” that moment itself it was mouth-watering. I said briskly, “OK-OK”.
    A while later, I took hot uppma and then warm milk.

    As I lay on the bed , I felt heavy. Certainly, I had excess food on account of trying to observe Ekadasi fast. I could not get even forty winks.
    I concluded that Ekadasi fasting certainly is
    not my cup of tea .
     
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  2. messedup

    messedup Platinum IL'ite

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  3. iyerviji

    iyerviji IL Hall of Fame

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    Very interesting. True all cant fast.
    Enjoyed reading
     
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  4. Hopikrishnan

    Hopikrishnan Platinum IL'ite

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    The month-long daytime fast during Ramazan would go to wreak havoc with the scheme of the bowels. The factory on the inside expects inputs at different times, and has prepared their workers [biome bacterial workforce] for a certain shift work, and now in this one month, everyone has to change their shifts. Not feasible to produce the same quality of turd anymore. One of high quality, with the precision of the chinese character for the number ONE, a well contemplated beginning burst with a head, followed by a muscular body of even thickness, and ending in a thin'ness with an artistic tilt:
    upload_2021-7-25_13-19-51.png
    More ostentatious productions may have curvatures to delight the producer, and would stand as testimony to the performance of the bacterial biome. A good flush would erase the evidence, and one has to start all over again. Art of a seated artist versus a squatting artist, and who produces a more complete rendition, is a continuing argument; however, one must set that aside, and enjoy the output of the artesan.
     

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    Last edited: Jul 25, 2021
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  5. RatnaMalliswari

    RatnaMalliswari Gold IL'ite

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    Hello Sir
    I appreciate your trial for fasting, sometimes we don't do anything from long time,to start it takes lot of time,but with our intention we can reach slowly,if not now atleast next time.I think you did the same.
    Sir,I have observed through your post, whatever personal experience you had, it might be tough when you faced it,but when you put in post you add humour to that.Again I felt, every word of your post as a scene.very nicely you have narrated it.May god shower you good health and lot of happiness.
    Regards
    Ratna
     
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  6. Thyagarajan

    Thyagarajan IL Hall of Fame

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    @RatnaMalliswari
    Dear RM
    Thanks for your detailed feedback.

    It shows that you had enjoyed reading the narration and humour embedded in the post. You had summed up the theme in few short and sweet sentences - I treasure it.

    When you are able to read scene by scene, you really enjoy vicariously.

    To create and sustain interest in the anecdote, it is natural to employ humour lest it would be boring.

    Thanks for your wishes as at times I think I am on my bonus years.
    Regards.
     
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  7. Thyagarajan

    Thyagarajan IL Hall of Fame

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    @Hopikrishnan
    Thanks for dropping by.
    Vaikunta is a kind of Eldorado and this is the destination sought by spiritual oriented South Indian.
    Other fasts are not comparable to the fast indicated in my post.
    But I must thank you for the information cum analysis. The fast in day and feast entire night.
     
  8. Thyagarajan

    Thyagarajan IL Hall of Fame

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    There is a website by name Ekadasi foods. Interest ones would like to check in link
    Ekadasi Foods
     
  9. Viswamitra

    Viswamitra IL Hall of Fame

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    Dear Thyagarajan Sir,

    I enjoyed reading your struggle to fast on Ekadasi day. It is hard especially when hot and delicious meal is prepared at home and displayed in the dinning table. I wonder how our ancestors practiced fasting so easily in their times. For me, fasting is never an issue but remaining without talking is an issue. Mouna Vratham is beyond me as I have tendency to talk somehow even if I waked with a determination not to talk for a day. I tried many times but failed.

    It is my understand the ancestors practiced fasting for two days by taking one meal a day for two days before Ekadasi and do a complete fasting on Ekadasi day. Three senses that are in front namely eyes, nose and mouth collaborate so much with reference to food. I used to watch cooking shows in TV where Chef Bhat smells the food and determine how well it is prepared especially if it is non-vegetarian, as he is a strict vegetarian.

    Now we understand how Devas must be struggling to remain with good character in Deva Loga with Soma banam, sumtuous meals available round the clock besides Ramba and Urvasi dancing around them. Ekadasi is only one such day for human beings. :BangHead::facepalm::yikes:
     
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  10. Thyagarajan

    Thyagarajan IL Hall of Fame

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    I enjoyed this humorous feedback about fasting in general.

    Spouse &I attended muhoortham of My daughter’s MBA class-mate G. G’s parents were introduced to us. Extending my right hand for a vigorous hand-shake with G’s dad, we were told that the latter is on one year mouna vrath which would conclude on next vaikunda Ekadasi. The world has such people and G’s mom consider herself to be fortunate!

    At the drop of a hat, my mom used to observe vrath skipping solid and liquid foods. My dad could not observe vrath excepting on amavasya & on days performing his parents’ anniversary. He will have பலகாரம் substituting the regular meal.

    SOMAPANAM is a bar lounge in Lakshmi hotel near brihadeeswarar temple in Thanjavur. It caters to tourists.
    While my post is about fasting difficulty, I wonder how come it kindled a thought about SOMBANAM. But then curiosity got better of me, I found interesting details about this herbal drink prepared during moon at its zenith and used only when HOMAM or yagam is performed in deva logjam. I read in link
    சோம பானத்தை இன்று தயாரிக்க முடியுமா...?
     
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