A Hindu Festival for the Beloved
(by Sonal Kulshrestha)
[Photo credits: (Left) Sapna and Manoj Gupta from NJ; (Right) Sangeeta and Sanjay Awasthi from CA.]
HAPPY KARVA CHAUTH to all the wonderful women all over the world celebrating this very glamorous festival as you pray for your husband's long life!
Yes, Karva Chauth is one of the most glamorous festival there is. And thanks to our Hindi movies, its been glamorized even more over the years! But hey, nobody is complaining! We love the karva chauth scenes in the movies and we love hearing about our actors celebrating the festival. In spite of having to stay without consuming a single morsel of food, nor a drop of water all day long until the very keenly awaited moon-rise time, women who celebrate this, love karva chauth. We love decking up, sometimes even bringing out our nicely packed-away bridal saris for the occasion! We love getting together with friends to do the thali (plate) rotations, we love playing cards or games while we all together wait for moon-rise. Of course, the splitting headache that often accompanies the festivities on account of not having eaten anything, is the only bummer!
Most of us who are from north India have witnessed the festival being celebrated with all its glory there! Growing up, we remember all the aunties getting together and doing the 'thali' and playing cards. We have fond memories of all the laughter and of course some whining too.
For those who live here in America, this is one festival that doesn't make us go, "India mein karne ke baat hee kuch aur hai". No, we might whine about Diwali not being the same here, but not karva chauth! For here too we get all dressed up in our beautiful saris, jewelry, gather for 'thali' in temple, plan a potluck, play games until moon rise, do the moon-watching and the "husband-watching" through the "chunni", husband's 'aarti', and yes, some of us even touch our husband's feet on just this one occasion, leaving aside the today's woman concept. But then, we do get extra amount of pampering from our dear husbands on this day.
While we, the modern women today, might go along with our age old traditions, these very age-old traditions makes karva chauth the most controversial festival as well. Like my white American manager once said, "My wife will hand me the gym bag and tell me to work out to make sure I've a long life rather than go without food, praying for that." But then we know, we do it because of course, we want our husbands to live a long and healthy life, we want to celebrate many more years of this festival (so we're praying for many years of married bliss), and also because, we do enjoy this 'bridal' festival.
So as you all fast, with prayers for the long life of your husband or soon-to-be, have fun and enjoy the pampering, ladies! Because, that part is really all about us, isn't it? ;) End of the day though, 'KC' is quite simply about celebrating love (like the look in the eyes of the two couples in the pictures above proves) ...