Travel at your own risk
Whenever I tell people that I’m vegetarian on Tuesdays, this revelation is always greeted with mild incredulity. Clearly, I look like the sort of chap who eats meat six times a day. But this incredulity deepens when I tell people that my reasons are religious and that there was a phase when I even fasted on Tuesdays.
Religious? They look at me strangely. Some people then offer tentatively: “Is it a Hanuman fast?”
No, I usually respond, it is a Ganesh thing.
In north India, they look at me as though I am mad. But in Bombay they usually make the obvious connection: the Siddhi Vinayak temple at Prabhadevi where Tuesday is special.
I can’t remember when I started going to the Siddhi Vinayak mandir but I suspect that my mother introduced me to the temple and its cult when I was in my late teens. The decision to fast, however, was my own. My mother, for instance, does not keep any religious fasts. But it seemed right and I fasted for years and years till finally, doctors told me that I had a stomach condition that is aggravated by not eating for hours. So, the fast ended but the vegetarianism remained.