In these times when relationships are short-lived and festivals commercialised, Karva Chauth, which celebrates the eternal bond between man and wife, is seeing a new brand of followers.
Call it being inspired by movies such as Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge and Kabhi Khushi Kabhi Gham, the ‘girlfriend mooning over boyfriend and vice versa’ is eclipsing the original belief, feel traditionalists.
The not-committed-but-in-love couples, however, say it is better to celebrate togetherness than ritualise a ‘loveless’ marriage. This Karva Chauth, the man-woman relationship gets more layered.
On this starvelicious day, HT City talks to young and old women alike to know their logic behind this ritual.
Tania Ahluwalia, 23, brand promoter
“Young girls fancy the idea of love. Thus, to us Indian girls, going without food and water for an entire day for the one we love seems very romantic. Love is not bound by age; if older women can fast for their husbands, so can we. At least we are not amongst those married women who fast for their ‘soulmates’ despite the absence of any emotional bond whatsoever; we are not following the tradition just for the heck of it.”
Navjot Kaur, 46, professor
“Being a working woman, I have to have a practical approach to life. Wasting two busy days on a ritual doesn’t make much sense to me. When the young girls of my class walk in with henna on their hands or take a leave to fast for someone they’ve just met, it seems unreasonable. I can imagine a woman being ‘dedicated’ to her husband, only when they are not gossiping about them behind their backs.”
Jasmin Singh, 20, student
“Starving yourself is not the only way to prove to a guy how special he is. And if it’s about the longevity of his life, then blessings cannot be sought in just one day. It’s just an old ritual, which has become a mandate for all married woman. If I ever keep a fast, it’s only going to be if my guy is ready to do the same for me.”
Nandita Sharma, 41, businesswoman
“Being modern doesn’t mean we should forget our traditions. Karva Chauth keeps us culturally connected. I buy bangles, get mehndi designs on my hands and wear a traditional sari. This festival makes me feel like a proud woman who loves her husband. The day gives us a chance to tell our husbands how special they are. I know husbands should also show the same love, but that has never stopped me. I’m sure one day he would reciprocate.”
Karnika Bansal, 21, student
“Karva is not a myth, it is a ritual accompanied by fear that has been passed on by generations. Women should realise that not keeping a fast would not hamper their married life. Besides, it’s just the north Indians who believe in this ritual. For me, it is just about commitment, which is not depicted by starvation. So, I would sit back and enjoy watching my mother’s house party.”
Deepali Malhotra, 40, housewife
“I do respect the opinion of those girls who give more importance to love than marriage but then we belong to those families which attach a major element of fear with these traditions followed by generations.
In our society, even if husbands mistreat their wives, women still believe in worshipping their men. I know it is not practical, but it is at least better than those ‘hi-society’ women fasting only to get dressed up in expensive attires and attend page 3 parties.”