A feel good, romantic myth

My father was a very indulgent husband and a cool parent.  He married my mother when she was barely sixteen and was often known to remark that he brought up three kids.  He always added Jee to her name and addressed her as Tussi or Aap.  Karva Chauth was big in our home.  Two weeks to D-day he took Mom shopping and bought her new clothes, a day earlier, matching bangles and trinkets etc were purchased.  He would wake up early and have sargi (breakfast before sunrise) with Mom.  On that day, we were told to curb our energies and tip toe around because Mom was fasting.  He would come back early from office and depute us on roofs and trees to keep a watch and holler when moon was sighted so that Mom could break her fast.  Sigh!  It was sooooo romantic.

Naturally I also kept the Karva Chauth.  And naturally it did not go too well for me.  I just dont have that kind of luck you see.  During my harmonious freakingly stormy wedded life, there were wars, and there were short intervals of I’m too tired to fight uneasy breathers.  We had a biggggg fight on one Karva Chauth when ex said something majorly caustic and rushed out to work.  He is King of Sarcasm.  I totally lost it.  In retrospect, I think it was because I could not top that one as he had left.  It was so frustrating, you know.  I could think of a dozen things to say which could top his lines, but he had effin left!!!  I did not want to keep the fast for him.  In fact I felt majorly martyrd by the entire concept of being hungry and thirsty for the entire day.  I had cooked a sumptious feast for the sargi which was still lying on the dining table.  So I sat down and ate.  I was not hungry (I had already eaten sargi)  but I ate the paranthas, the sewian, the gulab jamuns even though I felt sick.  Yes I am a spiteful cat if you rub me the wrong way. 

Stop pretending to be shocked, its all a myth okay.  Nothing bad happened to him.  He is still alive and healthy, and being tiresome.  It takes more than a couple of aloo paranthas eaten by an angry wife on Karva Chauth to kill a person.

Stop laughing!!!

DIL asked me the first year of her marriage about what to do for Karva Chauth and I told her “Beta keep it for one year, after that, if you dont want to, dont.  Doll up, apply mehendi, pamper yourself.  The fast is optional” and I told her this tale of mine.  She found it insane and repeated the damn thing to her mother and sister.  I know I know, I shouldnt have told her!   Her mother told me, “Both you and my daughter have the same nature”.  Ah well, I have decided to take that as a compliment.

She looked lovely all decked up last year (It was her first Karva Chauth) and has just informed me that she wants to keep it again this year. Awwwwww, sooo romantic.  I am so happy that she is keeping it for her own sentiments and out of her own free will.  Of course I am also so happy that I dont have to keep it.

Edited to add: Both the lovebirds are keeping the fast – for each other.  I am so impressed!


67 thoughts on “A feel good, romantic myth

  1. I’m a south indian and we dont have Karva Chauth, fortunately(though I wont keep it even though it is there). But there’s occasions for the long life of brothers and many other alternatives, of course. I don’t believe in it at all. My grandmother is sure that the guy who marries me will divorce me the next day. 😐

    Such bullshit. You know these traditions are such myths to build up a man’s ego. Put this in the pre-nup I WONT KEEP FASTS and work your marriage around it. Luckily most guys have changed and dont place much importance on them. My son actively tries to discourage his wife from keeping fasts

  2. I know, many men think these are lame too! but you kno, half of the reason why women are oppressed and patriarchy floruishes is – women themselves!

    Yeah we do it to our own kind! Go figure it out!!!

  3. somehow I love this festival too… hubby not the fasting types but spends the day with me 🙂 more than a fast its become a day to remember and rekindle our love 🙂

    most of the customs that were started at one point of time due to some reason or the other dont hold good anymore but still there is some charm to some of them but ya they should not be followed blindly

    Yeah that is true

  4. Now you know why I love Shahrukh Khan ? For making it all so romantic by fasting with Kajol in DDLJ ? Between you and Shahrukh Khan you are taking the glorious ‘me suffering for you’ martyrdom out of KarvaChauth!

    It is total bullshit you know, but good for some woman bonding and dolling up and getting pampered by hubby dearest

  5. awww-ing at the two lovebirds 🙂

    Oh absolutely … though I’d like to see how they weather it till 6 pm tommorow when they get tired and thirsty and there is still 2 hours till moon rise hehehehe

  6. I didnt know about this ritual… but its sounds interesting in the way that it creates just an event for both wife and husband and let them to express love for each other…[but if both of them fast for each other]

    btw i dont think that the subcontinent had ever had any discrimination against women in history in ancient times… in fact u see hinduism has many of the female deities which they worship… so that shows tremendous respect for the female part of the nature… i have lil idea when n why this patriarchal system had flourished so much that we cant get rid of it even today after soo much advances…

    That is because we are changing slowly – much too slowly. We’ll get there some day

  7. So do we take it that gifting her a rose , candlelight dinners, pulling a chair ,celebrating a birthday…all this is a farce ! ….after all, life doesn’t change drastically by all this :)but we do it.
    Though, I Do Not Advocate keeping a fast for a full day like this only for the women…but traditions have a meaning, value and bring about a sense of excitement in the environment.
    I Believe, If You Love Your Husband or Wife, keep a fast / participate in such ceremonies…if you do not, it has no meaning.
    My motto” If you love somebody, Show It”

    Oh absolutely, and if you are mad at the person, show it too

  8. Yes Your dad was a true romantic. Your mom has been extremely lucky to have such a good life partner. And when you compare your own experience, it does become a lot more upsetting but I was not shocked when you ate food after he was sarcastic. I see absolutely no point in fasting when there is no love.
    I have never fasted for him, but for me, every day is a Karva Chauth.

    Awww so sweet

  9. Totally cool! That’s the only way I’d ever ‘approve’ of a karva chauth fast – when it’s done totally out of choice and both partners do it for each other. (As if someone’s waiting for my approval though!!!)

    Whenever my friends talk about karva chauth in front of me, I always ask them if their husband’s fasting too and I have got some weird reactions from some of them – right from frowning and shutting up to blushing like a teenager to being shocked at the thought! I am like – WTH! Doesn’t he care for you too?

    And once an innocent soul asked me why I wasn’t fasting for my husband’s long life… 😉 I don’t need to say what happened after that, do I?!!!

    Do blog about it, I would love to read it. Must have been something 😉

  10. Nice… even my dad kept fast with ma… We were also positioned on the roof while his diet coke sat chilling in the ice box… I think more than food he used to miss the drinking bit…

    I think anyway both of them should keep it. Doesn’t the man want the woman for 7 births or so too? Or is he OK if she dies? It’s fun to do things together & isn’t that what marriage is all about… Sharing life together?

    I totally agree – but as I love to point out, you can pray for his long life on a full stomach too

  11. The only way that Karva Chauth is palatable to me is if both husband and wife do it… otherwise it reeks of chauvinism. No?

    No offence but why was it important for you that your DIL do it in the first year?

    It wasnt important for me. She wanted to try it. I always quote Osho on that one – a hungry man doesnt pray to God, he meditates on food. A sated man can meditate, not one who is hungry and thirsty.

  12. The south Indian custom while getting married ( and for some pooja the day before) is that the bride cannot eat. Ofcourse the groom can hog all the delicacies he want…so not fair! And even the thought of fasting makes me hungrier…so I just made my sister sneak in some food that was being served outside, and started hogging.

    And it was at this precise moment that the entire clan from the groom’s side decided to “visit” me!

    Atleast the one good thing was that they had no illusions or expectations later 🙂

    We have a custom called Muh Dikhai or unvieling of the bride ….. now this is a muh dikhai with a twist 😉 As you say, they had no illusions or expectations after that LOL

  13. I come from a family where religion was just about connecting to one’s inner and justifying your existence in this world .After marriage came to know all the other aspects of it and detested them for more than obvious reasons .I dont keep fasts unless I Need to cleanse my system .And also think that these things have become a showoff more than anything.I would rather fast and feed a hungry child than do all this drama.Love can be shown in respecting each other as individuals and giving the each other the much needed space.

    Yes, why one day dammit, you can pray for the whole year … without the fast for his wellbeing

  14. As a kid about 14 or 15 my marriage was fixed……Yea shocking na 🙂 I was told that for some astrological reasons I had to do Monday fasts for my future husband’s good n long life with early morn, before school at 7 baths, a glass of milk before school…Yech,still hate it! a salad or fruit for lunch and after sunset some unpalatable dish made only those days and that too after yet another bath and pooja all of which Mom organised with a strict no nonsense fm U look, she poor thing did the fasts with me to keep me company, well got married at 19 and did this till then, stopped as soon as I didn’t have to answer to mom and after 18 years of a bad marriage said good bye to ex! Maybe it worked, he is still alive and kicking :-)Dunno about the good life! Guess it could have been worse :p

    • May be … or not! Fasts or any thing we do should be done only if we are convinced and desirous. DIL is keeping it because she wants to – and that is how it should be. At 14 I am sure you did not want to – for a man you did not know

  15. Wonder if son and DIl will keep the fast next year. Am sure he will stop her.

    And yes, I have never understood why men don’t keep the fast too. Or is it that they want more wives in this birth???
    And yes, I too ask friends who moan and groan about how hungry they are, if their hubbies too are keeping the fast..and boy, do they look shamefaced.

    • I would gift them all copies of Dilvaale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge and Baghban – both movies in which the hubbies also keep the fast. Hmmm actually – send them a link to this blog entry LOL

  16. Pingback: Karva Chowth at Phoenix House : Weaving A Web

  17. Let’s see..your son and daughter-in-law are doing the right thing. Why should the wife pray for the husband’s long life and fast? Shouldn’t the wife’s life be equally important to him? So yeah as long as both fast it’s okay for me….otherwise it’s a silly one-sided custom that needs to be done away with.

    • I know, and one needs to be honest – isn’t fasting and praying only effective if one is honest? If you don’t care for your spouse, stop pretending and going through the ritual. I find it such a sham when ppl don’t get along and yet keep the Karva Chouth!

  18. Amusing. 😛 😛 😛

    I even told her she doesn’t have to fast, and she kicked me nice and proper in the rear. Since then, my lips are sealed. 😀 😀 😀

    • Bullshit! My sense of wellbeing is not related to her keeping a fast or not. I released her from the compulsion. Now if she keeps it, its her free will. Heck TBG d’ya watch a whole lot of Ekta Kapoor soaps – they’re big on hidden motives and agendas 😛 😈

  19. I have kept karvachauth all my married life as i grew up watching Mum do this. I think it is a sweet tradition….. there is anticipation and all that decking up. Even women in 60 put mehndi and dress up for that evening thali watna ceremony.

    As for the next gen.. my girls i am sure theyll do it as they too have grown up seeing all the excitement in the market. The rush for choodiyan, namkeen and sweet mathi and the famous pheniyan and the mehandi walis in every nook and corner. What would life be without festivals:) ?

    • Oh I am big on dolling up – I tell my DIL to do the same (without keeping the fast). Why miss out on the fun? The fast is a superstition. She keeps it becos my son also keeps it

  20. Hugs, Ritu! You’re one mom every child would want to have and you’re one mom-in-law every daughter-in-law would love to have 😀

    I loved this post!

    Life will be so much more reasonable if one were to follow a belief for one’s own self and not to propel some age-old ridiculous custom. Kudos to your son and daughter-in-law!

  21. Have always been a regular reader of your blog – am just too lazy to comment 😦 that was a beautiful post…you are always about live and let live…such a great motto..

  22. Pingback: Three things I would like to see changed in Karvachauth celebrations. | The Life and Times of an Indian Homemaker

  23. Awww 🙂 Love birds….

    The husband kept a fast with me the first time… and thats about it… now its just me… and I do not have such a cool MIL 😦 *sulk sulk

    • This year, they have gone to buy trinkets and apply mehandi – but no fast. I am quite thrilled about that – I dont like regressive customs

  24. This post of your unfailingly makes me rotfl. I see you in my mind’s eye, eating the alu paranthas, sevaiyan et al coz you could not top your ex’s exit line. 🙂

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