Fasting: Thirsty, but Surviving

I was invited to fast for Karva Chauth with a coworker whose mother-in-law adheres to the tradition. Last night, I geared up for the main event by having a light supper of vegetable soup, and since then, not a drop of liquid or food has passed my lips.
Karva Chauth is a tradition of North India, where married Hindu women fast in order to seek the well-being and prosperity of their husbands. It generally occurs nine days prior to Diwali, sometime in October or November. The fast lasts all day, from dawn until sundown; the kicker is that you can’t break the fast until you’ve seen the moon in a reflection of water. And guess what, it’s cloudy tonight.
Naturally, since I’m neither Hindi nor married, I’m focusing this Karva Chauth on myself. Supposedly unmarried women are barred from observing this fast; this only encourages me.
For me, fasting is a means to mental clarity. In a life devoid of spiritual traditions, I like to piggyback onto others’ fasting schedules. I frequently partake of the Yom Kippur tradition of fasting and atonement, and have occasionally mirrored the Ramadan schedule of sun-up/sun-down fasting my workmates labored under.
Karwa means a clay pot with spout, used in prayers. Chauth means the fourth day.


fast, adjective
Etymology: Middle English, from Old English fæst; akin to Old High German festi firm, Old Norse fastr, Armenian hast
Date: before 12th century
1 a: firmly fixed b: tightly shut c: adhering firmly d: not easily freed : stuck e: stable
2: firmly loyal
3 a: characterized by quick motion, operation, or effect: (1): moving or able to move rapidly : swift (2): taking a comparatively short time (3): imparting quickness of motion (4): accomplished quickly (5): agile of mind; especially : quick to learn
4 a: securely attached b: tenacious
5 a: archaic : sound asleep b: of sleep : not easily disturbed
6: not fading or changing color readily
7 a: wild b: sexually promiscuous
8: resistant to change (as from destructive action or fading)
fast, intransitive verb.
Etymology: Middle English, from Old English fæstan
Date: before 12th century
1 : to abstain from food
2 : to eat sparingly or abstain from some foods