Fasting, feasting on Mahashivratri

Simple Fare

Reverberating with the chants of Om Namah Shivay as the incensed-aroma pervades in the air, the temples in the Capital entice the devotees from all corners in the City to celebrate the festival of Mahashivratri.

One of its mythological origins state that it happens to be the night when Lord Shiva performed ‘Tandava’- the dance that is supposed to be the source of the cycle of creation, preservation and dissolution. As the devotees observe this auspicious day, they keep fasts and perform prayers four times a day to worship Lord Shiva. In the rhythm of prayers, what sustains the devout worshippers throughout the day? While many choose to go on a diet of fruits and milk, a few do not even drink a drop of water observing their fast. Owing to high-pressure lifestyles and career choices, there are others who can only observe this fast with a bit of leeway, just like the fasts that are kept during Navratri, by sticking to a falahaar diet.

Not only fruits, the falahaar diet comprises many other elements such as flour made of kuttu, singaadha (water chestnut), sabudana and sawang rice.  “A homemaker’s menu is not at all boring or monotonous even though it includes only a few elements,” says Deepa Sharma as she dwells upon her expansive list, saying, “For starters, sabudana and potato deep fried dumplings served with coriander chutney make for an appetising beginning. Then you could have kashifal and aloo ki sabzi in mains leading to sabudaana or makhaane ki kheer garnished with dry fruits in the dessert.”

What more can one imagine, that too on a fast? But all these preparations go without the usual salt, as sendha namak is recommended during these fasts. As Lord Shiva indulges in the six different dravayas (offerings)- milk, yogurt, honey, ghee, sugar, water and a lot of fruits, especially jujube or ber- during the 24-hour long cycle of worship, you take a note of these dishes so that your fast-paced life in the metro doesn’t take a toll
on you.

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