Among my friends is one who succeeded in becoming a minister some five six times, this in a period of rapidly succeeding governments that hardly lasted for a few months due to various computations and permutations to come up tops in the numbers game of this thing we call democracy. But, even funnier was that it was his wife who always claimed that it was her Shrawan barta (fasting in the month of Shrawan, i.e. July/August) which had ensured Lord Shiva’s blessings on her spouse. She took part in a procession of similarly devout women, each carrying a pot of water on her head, walked barefoot to the local Shiva temple, and steadfastly fasted through the day. This routine, she followed with great discipline for the whole of the holy month, which assumed sacred importance after the fact that it was the month when Parvati undertook severe fasting to get Lord Shiva’s attention, and eventually managed to get him to marry her.