Of new malls and bad attitude…

A very productive day today!

Had some work to take care of early morning so was out and about till around 3 pm, then came back home and we set out to the newly opened Cityland Mall near Global Village.

The mall seems to be more of a children’s park as of now, but is quite unprofessionally managed. The approach road is the same as the one that goes to Global Village, which means that the smaller set of cars going towards the mall now have to sit in the same traffic. The rides are charged, but it’s pretty unclear where one goes to fetch the tickets. When I finally located the ticket counter, they offered me a ticket for 60 dirhams that allowed the kid on “five or six” play areas, one of which was a stationary bus that did nothing except – well exist.

There was a “learning area” where the staff politely informed us that parents were not allowed – so we sat outside and watched uninterested “faculty” make feeble attempts at interacting with our kids, all in the middle of clicking selfies!

And then there was a train ride that cost 25 dirhams extra, with another uninterested driver at the helm. The train wandered around the mall aimlessly as the driver stopped on multiple occasions to chat with fellow staff while turning around frequently to check if we were still on board.

Anyway, a one-time visit for now. That too if there is nothing else to do.

And yes, today was Ekādashi – so I was on a fast throughout.

Here is something that I wrote earlier on the subject – have a read and try it out. Helps, even on days when work beckons and tempers have a potential to flare up:)

See you tomorrow!

Today is Ekādashi – the 11th day of a fortnight in a lunar month, as per the Hindu calendar.

Since there are two fortnights, Ekādashi is celebrated twice a month. It is typically characterized by observance of a fast.

And the fast can be of many types. From Nirjala Ekādashi – where one does not even touch a drop of water, to days when you can have light fruits and water. As with everything Hindu, rules vary depending on the region, belief and parampara of the household.

I keep a simple fast from daybreak, till the next morning, when I wake early, cook a light meal and eat it just after sunrise. It was a bit tough when it started, but now, I actually look forward to Ekādashi, because I get a chance to reset my digestive system.

Oddly enough, I have more energy and get more done during this day, maybe because digestion does not take up any resources on Ekādashi.

This day is also an opportunity to clear the mind. Like the body, the mind too accumulates a lot over a period of time, and general housekeeping is of the essence. Meditation helps a lot, but occasionally…once a fortnight for example, a mind-body cleanse can invigorate you.

The West is just waking up to the benefits of intermittent fasting, but back home, we knew about it, and observed it since ages. As with all things in the West, the concept of intermittent fasting strips the mental component off, and instead makes it a diet-based convenience.

Personally, I would not recommend intermittent fasting in it’s prescribed form. In fact, Ekādashi can be fun to observe, given that there are 24 types of Ekadashi in a year, all associated with various incarnations of Lord Vishnu. Each accompanies certain food rules during fast, which must be followed to direct the mental energy in the right direction.

I would not give you a laundry list of the dos and dont’s on each. I don’t follow them to the T myself, and it is difficult enough to convince you to have the discipline to fast regularly in the first place. Baby steps, as they say.

Yes, today’s world is all about “xyz-as-a-servce”. There is SaaS, PaaS, GaaS (no, just kidding), and a lot more acronyms that end up charging you every month, little-by-little, so that you don’t notice the damage over a period of time.

Ekādashi is FaaS – fasting as a service. But with a difference. No charge, absolutely free, with mind and body benefits to boot. No login and downloads required, just dedication and commitment to the cause. No fancy spa package, nor retreat…just awareness and tranquility. If only it could be monetised!

And so if you are not convinced, try it out for yourself. But try it for at least 2 months (4 fasts). The first three are tough, in decreasing order. The fourth, may just end up convincing you:)

See you tomorrow!