["They go without their cup of tea and I feel guilty eating samosa and sandwich. I started fasting to show my brotherhood with them," Amit Behl said.]
New Delhi: Non-Muslim bollywood stars like Amit Behl and Pankaj Berry are also fasting during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.
Actor Ashiesh Roy has been observing the fast from the last five years. Last year, he kept rozas for the first seven days "at the behest of my friend Shoiab Ibrahim".
"I keep rozas primarily to detoxify and lose some weight. However, it is difficult to work while fasting because of our hectic schedules. But it’s all about will power," Ashiesh, who is currently seen in "Mere Angne Mein", said in a statement.
It is not easy for the actor though.
"Of course it is tough. We’re used to having our cutting chais (tea) and healthy nibbling every two hours. I do feel like I will faint at times, but it’s all good. You have to just get used to it," he added.
In fact, he is also planning to sponsor Iftar on the sets of "Mere Angne Mein".
Pankaj Berry, who has featured in films like "Chance Pe Dance" and "Team: The Force", is also one of the non-Muslim actors who is fasting this Ramadan.
"Not only me, many of my non-Muslim friends fast along with me to give company to our Muslim friends as we consider them our family. The people especially in the entertainment industry are a liberal lot, so we celebrate Eid and they celebrate Diwali with us.
"It’s one of the aspects of the industries that we’re all very proud about. I usually fast on the final few days every year. I always fast in Ramzan as well as in Ekadashi," he shared.
He believes that fasting removes sins or bad karma.
"At the same time, it is quite difficult to fast from around 4 a.m. until 9 p.m. every day. I really salute all the Muslim brothers and sisters. Personally when I fast, I feel the hunger which is a bit obvious because fasting while working makes it difficult for me to concentrate on work, but during noon that feeling begins to dissipate.
"Then about an hour before Iftar, the hunger pangs do strike and thirst... oh my god! Thirst is a major issue for me as I am used to drinking six to seven glasses of water a day. The day when I am fasting, I try staying in a cool and shaded environment with reduced physical activity," he said.
Actor Amit Behl says he had a lot of Muslim friends while growing up.
"Even on the sets, there are 25 to 30 percent Muslims. You see them fasting and yet doing their work without any difficulty. I see the light men lifting heavy electronic stuff whereas actors... we sit in the confines of our vanity vans.
"They go without their cup of tea and I feel guilty eating samosa and sandwich. I started fasting to show my brotherhood with them," he said.
He believes that fasting helps to understand the importance of thirst and hunger.
"I even fast during Ganpati (Ganesh Chaturthi). I believe it is the way of cleaning our system and connecting with god. I respect all religions," he said.