“Fast, Fast, Fast…”

By Ananya S Guha

“Fast, fast, fast!” Someone exclaimed the other day. I turned around a little nervously to see my friend, a very old friend. I had not seen him for a long, long time. “What happened?”, I asked. “Are you asking me to pace up my walk or what?” “Anyway, I like only sedentary walks”, I said politely.

“No, no, no”, he said. “I am exhorting people to fast by which I mean they should not eat for days.” This is an inexorable and hortatory truth. By this time he sounded, and looked very animated indeed. “Well”, I pondered, “the majority of our people are doing that aren’t they. More than two thirds (or is it three fourths?) can’t get to eat a full square meal.” This I said with triumph. “That’s true”, he said. “But fasting to suffer, to protest, to bring culprits to book.” He now looked philosophical. The thunder in his tone was missing. He looked a wee bit lugubrious as well. “Yes, yes”, I said. “To fight corruption isn’t it?”

“Absolutely, Eureka. You’ve got it!” He looked very happy indeed. “Look” he continued: “If you and I fast, everyone will notice it, recognize us as honest citizens, who have a conscience and probity.” “I’m not sure about that”, I rued skeptically. “I tried doing it at home some years back, but my wife gave me more and better food!” He did not look impressed. He had a faraway expression on his now luminous face.

“What I mean to say”, he continued “is that fasting is an inevitable weapon to fight corruption”, he went on excitedly almost jumping on me.

“How?” I asked. “Because believe me or not the more you fast, the more will corrupt people join you. They are all for eradication of corruption”.

Thinking that this was a piece of innovative thinking and incontrovertible logic, I decided to go home…

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