“Fasting, Feasting” is a novel written by Anita Desai. This book is divided in two parts, one part from an India family point of view, and the other from an American family perspective. The title of this novel is greatly interesting because it is in two parts too. Fasting which means abstaining from all food, and feasting which means to eat rich and abundant meal.
After reading the book, we can immediately say that “Fasting” corresponds to Uma’s point of view (India) and “Feasting” is from Arun’s point of view (America). Indeed, India is less developed than America and there is a lot of starvation and that America has abundance in terms of food. But this isn’t the only meaning of the title and there are a lot more implicit and interesting things that relate to it. Fasting first means “less” and feasting means “more” that opens a lot more interesting subjects. For example, Arun traps himself alone and has no social life and it is the same case for Melanie who suffers from bulimia. Uma is in the same case: MamaPapa have great authority over her and ban her from going to St Mary’s school, from going on religious trips with Mira-Misa, from seeing anyone who can give her distraction. All these characters are “fasting” social life and are trapped in a vicious circle they can’t get out of.
“Feasting” is less present in the book but there are a few examples: in India, family life is considered important and it is a “feasting” theme whereas in America, the Patton family doesn’t communicate much with each other. But food is the most “feasting” relate theme because Melanie, the daughter of the Patton family, eats too much, in abundance, and this leads to her bulimia and vomiting all the time.