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Meet The 46-Year-Old Hindu Who Fasts For Ramzan And Runs Marathons While Doing It

And he's been doing it for the last 24 years.

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And for the last 23 years, he's fasted for Ramzan.

Purnendu Nath

"It started off with intrigue and a desire to satisfy my curiosity observing a Malay Muslim friend at the University of Cambridge," he told BuzzFeed. "That specific month, around March 1993, was meant to be just experimental – after all what is university campus life for, if not for experimenting? But that first month of fasting while preparing for the final year exams ended up being an experience that I know changed the way I approached a lot of things in life."

And what's more impressive is that even during his fasts, Nath trains, runs marathons, goes to the gym, exercises daily, and frequently goes on treks.

"During this month, during the day when the fast is on, everything else is meant to remain the same and without a fuss," he said. "I exercise daily, so one more thing that does not change during Ramzan is this aspect of daily living. I have been trekking numerous times – the others did not even know I was fasting."

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In the last couple of years, he has been running close to 12km or lifting weights during the fasting hours.

Purnendu Nath

During the other months of the year he runs half marathons without any water during the run; he said that during the next Ramzan, he will try to run closer to that distance during fasting hours.

As a fitness enthusiast and extremely spiritual person, when people ask why he does it, he has a clear answer: "Because I enjoy the experience – one of God consciousness."

Purnendu Nath

"For the 2 billion Muslims, fasting during this month is only a small fraction of the recommended duties," he said. "Prayer, control of negative emotions (e.g. anger), [and] abstinence during sunlight hours from modes of pleasure (e.g. movies, sex) are all recommended as ways to benefit further from the month."

Nath admitted that when he started fasting for Ramzan there were mixed reactions from people.

Purnendu Nath

"People thought it was a fad," he said. "Often there’s anger, but in the end they realised that I was not insisting that anyone else fasts, and nor was I giving it up after trying it for a couple of days. More importantly, most people, friends and family, didn’t know I fasted until recently. My children admire my lifestyle, which is good as I believe in leading by example."