Thursday, October 20, 2005

Life in the Fast Lane

Today is Karva-Chauth, the ladies’ day of fasting for the long life of the husband. On this day, married women(and probably, engaged ones too) go the whole day without food, and water , breaking the fast only after seeing the moon, and offering water to it.
This festival has been celebrated in countless hindi movies and tv soaps, with the wife fondly gazing at the husband thru a sieve, and then breaking her fast. In real life, they don’t really do that, as many ladies have blushingly told me---they only look at the moon thru the sieve.
It is the going without water that is truly admirable, since it is still quite warm at this time of the year. Ideally, they are supposed to get up before daybreak, and have something to eat---it is usually a lot of fried and sweet stuff, given by the mother-in-law. Around four in the afternoon, the ladies gather at some common place ( a park, or someone’s house) , sit in a circle and do a pooja, passing their pooja plate around in the circle, sing a certain song, until each lady gets back her plate. A “katha” is also recited, in which all the dire things that happened to a woman who did not observe this fast, are listed. They may then have a little tea ( which does not count as water!). The more determined ones do not have even tea.(I feel that is sensible, since tea would only aggravate the acidity, if any). The ladies give a gift to their mom-in law ( a sort of thanksgiving for giving birth to hubby!).
It is not a holiday, but some working ladies take the day off. Some make it a point to go to work, since they feel it’ll take their minds off the hunger pangs. Kids are happy in school on this day, because the teachers conserve their energy by not speaking much, so pandemonium may well reign.
These days a lot of husbands have taken to fasting along with their wives---so sweet, na? Twenty-first century protocol?

4 Comments:

Blogger Shyam said...

Fair's fair, I say :) If I kept the fast, my husband would do so too. In fact he feels it's unfair that only women get to wear the mangalsutra when they get married - he thinks it's discrimination against men. :)

20/10/05 6:50 AM  
Blogger LAK said...

shyam:Thanx for visiting my blog. Yes, why not mangalasutra for men? They would look cool!

20/10/05 7:42 PM  
Blogger Kiwilakhs said...

I think the bit abt giving gifts to the MIL is the pits, especially given how mean some of them can be to their DILs.
How did you get on with your articles? Did you write for Eve's Weekly?
And yes, Shyam, good on Pete!!! If he wants to wear one, why not? You can get a cool, masculine one made for him (with a design of your own choice:)

1/11/05 12:20 PM  
Blogger LAK said...

gs:I bet the giving of gifts to the m-i-l was made mandatory, bec. otherwise they would never get anything from the d-i-l!
I wrote for Eve's weekly long ago. Then it was Femina for a bit---now it is mostly Woman's Era that too pretty much sporadic--maybe I have more writer's block than bursts of inspiration!

1/11/05 9:32 PM  

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