OFF-BEAT: Inflections on Karva Chauth fasting – Parul Sharma

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Ahoi is a day of fasting without food and water, and prayer for a better healthier and longer life, and I fast for my daughter. And on Karva Chauth, I keep the same fast for my husband for his better, healthier and longer life. My mother did the same,  and so did her mother, and I suspect my daughter, a mendicant of the digital age, will continue this chain of belief in family.

Muslims fast during Ramzaan. Christians fast during Lent, on Good Friday. The Jews fast. The Jains fast. The Buddhists fast. The Bahais fast. We are even taught that the great titans of political evolution fasted so that their people could go free.

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Pic courtesy: Parul Sharma

Even those who do not believe in God or religion occasionally fast — except they call it the cellulite detox.

If fasting as a measure of faith in God is Kosher, fasting for my husband and child is unashamedly the selfish evolution of my belief that my family comes first. I was, therefore, bemused to see a slew of bipolar trashing by some custodians of comment that fasting for a husband or a partner or child is a denigration of gender equality and worth ridicule or satire.

That somehow these observances of ritual and traditions are manifestations of kitty culture as opposed to the much more desirable pursuit of kitsch culture.

Without tradition the human being might as well be a soulless neon clone. Without ritual we might as well be aimless votaries of virtuality.

Give me the kitty of my husband and child any day! As I break my fast at night, give me that bottle of Chateau Lafite anyway!!


Parul Sharma is a new generation leading fine art photographer whose métier is architectural design and human form. Her works on the sensuality of urban landscapes debuted at the highly lauded show, “Parulscape” within Delhi’s Bikaner House 
in July 2017. Since then her works have been exhibited at several group shows in India, where her photographs have vied for attention with the doyens of contemporary Indian art and photography. Her works have been acclaimed by noted critics from India and abroad including Gayatri Sinha and Sylvie Crossman. She is currently working on  her upcoming solo exhibitions in Europe, Florence (Dec 2019) and Paris (Mar 2020). Roli Books is slated to publish her photographic interpretation of Mumbai’s vibrant and historic Colaba district, in April 2020. In her media avatars, Parul worked for 15 years with the Star India.

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