Do you eat them, too?
“I have eaten saffron on occasions,” she said. “My mother used to get them on her fingers [so she could use them as an antiseptic]. They were very rich in nutrients and they used to keep me warm in the cold winter months. I would also eat a lot of them. I’m not as adventurous as others who are into saffron.”
Fasting and physical labour are the two major forms you take for saffron. When do you do them?
“Fasting is the easiest to do. On days when there are no other activities, like a big event, I usually put on weights. I make three saffron threads and make one thread for each meal. I usually fast for 12 hours. The longest I’ve fasted for as long is 23 days,” said Hoda, who has spent six days of fasting in one year because of stress.”When someone tells me that you should fast in order to be a better student, I don’t think anyone could argue with me. Even to begin with, when I was young, I only had a normal life. All this stress in such a short period of time really affects your body,” she says. “I haven’t been able to speak of it,” she says, but there was once a time when she didn’t think of it. When Hoda was about 14, she met Nader (her real name), a friend from a different community in the community. “What surprised me was he told me I should follow the example of a boy from a similar community. He told me that even though he’s not religious he should not be like the other boys. What I learned from him was that for anyone, including an Indian boy from another community, any activity, even a normal childhood, is very stressful. Even just being in your house for the first time, even if you’re making meals, or cleaning the house, that always takes a toll on you. I also learned that no matter what you do in life, that you can’t have a normal life like the others. All this stress is affecting my life. There’s no way that any Hindu guy like me can do this.”
How many women follow the same practices as Hoda, as does Nader, the man she met in 2008?
“Nader is my only one. We do everything together.”
Is it true that Nader is responsible for shaping the image of
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