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#KarwaChauth as I know it

I wouldn’t go as far as dissecting the factual and practical implications of it, but the feeling behind it is personal and genuine. I’m an Indian woman, and like many other things I’ve grown watching in my family and neighbourhood, Karwa Chauth is a much loved and awaited festival for all married women.

My mother observed every ritual in intricate detail, much unlike me. While Karwa Chauth is popular, little do people know that every month has a Chauth out of which there are four important ones in a year. I don’t know about others, but in Marwari families all these four are observed similarly. A head bath and mehndi on the previous day is customary. Fasting, listening to katha, the moon puja and then finally breaking the fast are done on the Chauth day. It is the same each time.

Our custom is different from the ones depicted in movies. We don’t go thirsty and hungry the whole day. Fruits, milk and other fasting food is allowed, but without any salt. We also don’t see the moon or our husbands through a sieve. The one thing that’s the same though, is the revelry around it. Dressing up in finery, accessorising with beautiful jewellery and getting pampered by the elder women in the family is lovely! 🙂

While A insists me to keep the menu simple and minimal, I always end up planning an elaborate meal and also end up eating more than usual. Cooking can be distracting and therapeutic, if you don’t know. True, it requires a lot of time and effort, but I feel I deserve that much. Don’t I? 😀

I’ve never asked A to fast with me or for me, and he doesn’t. It is his choice and I don’t take it personally or as a question mark on his love for me. Although, on this day he never has dinner before me and makes sure he gives me the first bite to break the fast. I love the fact that I do it as a mark of my love and respect for him.

Linking this with WordSante


37 thoughts on “#KarwaChauth as I know it

  1. Was just discussing this 2day… how come south indians dont have something like this… me being one… we don’t … wonder why??????????…there are lot of north indians here in UK traditionally follow it, like the way u did…U must have enjoyed ur meal after d fast ????????

    1. North-Indians celebrate it in a grand and glamorous least that’s what we are shown through movies.????
      Here in Mumbai it really doesn’t feel festive enough, to be honest. I like it more at my in-laws’ place where there’s a lot of fun and frolic involved. Yes, the meal is super-tasty. ????????

      1. Ya I know it’s not so festive in Mumbai… only if u r surrounded by North Indians then u enjoy all d hungaamaa… where r ur in-laws ??… n after fast even daal chawal is delicious ????

        1. My in-laws live at their native. It is an overnight journey from here and tickets are always a problem. Anyway, since we go on Diwali, a quick trip on karwa chauth seems rather pointless. It is fun there…invites to other peoples’ homes for dinner, gorging on yummy food etc.

    1. Thanks Deboshree. Long time! ????
      The backlash is probably by a segment of self-proclaimed feminists who don’t have anyone to do it for. ???? No one can judge what others do on their own accord.

  2. Being a Marwari myself I know all about the pujas that we do. But honestly, when i listen to the stories that they say for each festival, i somehow do not understand why i am doing it in the first place.

    I mean, have you heard the story for karwa chauth for example? the girl’s husband dies because she breaks her fast (unknowingly) and then her mother in law leaves her all alone in a room to tend a dead body for almost a year?! and for daily sustenance she is given only the stale and leftover food of the family? and the best part is that each Chauth Mata that comes says the same thing to her – curses her for being a murderer just because she couldn’t control her hunger! Imagine, in those days marriages would happen at a young age maybe 12 or 13 years latest. They expected the girls to keep a fast at that age when the only responsibility of the boy was to play, study and be himself! i don’t know why but listening to the story the other day made me feel really bad for going along with the entire ritual.

    I did fast for him because they say that some kind of spiritual transformation happens in the body after fasting. Self-control gives powers that can be used to make miracles happen. I don’t know if this is true but at least this is a story i would rather believe.

  3. You won’t believe, when I was a child I would ask my mom similar questions. If these are all Gods, howcome they seek vengeance for an innocent mistake? Irrespective of who commits the mistake why is the woman always held culpable and punished for it? Did these stories really happen sometime or are they someone’s imagination? Who is the lady whose picture is on the book?
    I really enjoyed the Bindayak stories as a kid. I didn’t know what they were really, they were just Nani ki kahaniyan for us. ????????
    I would go with your story too. Doing something out of fear that something averse will happen if you don’t, isn’t spirituality or even love.

    1. I don’t like the arguments that come to fore every year on this day. No one is forcing us, then how is this anyone else’s concern?
      I’m glad to have revisited this post, Namratha. Enjoying #WordSante!

  4. Karwa chauth is sacred and never if the biggest festival for us here in North India. Hubby fast with me.. We do this to celebrate our relationship and just look over the years we lived together. Mix of love and tradition for me

  5. We don’t have Karwa chaut, and I don’t fast on any occasion, but it was interesting to read about the custom and your perspective about it

    1. I have seen it since childhood and observing it came organically to me. I fast on many occasions but this one gives me an excuse to demand extra pampering. 😉

  6. I feel not everybody can go thristy or hungry the whole day and one should take her health first. Its all about how you feel from inside.

  7. So glad you wrote this ???? I was just asking my husband what exactly is karwa chauth after seeing so many posts about it on my news feed. Now I know what exactly it is

    1. I’m so glad I could give you the information you wanted. This was my version, you can read posts from Punjabi kudis to show their rituals. They are very different from ours.

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