“Are you fasting? For whom?” This banter becomes a chorus in the corridors of Delhi University colleges on Karva Chauth. Though, the festival is meant for married North Indian women but that didn’t deter the determination of DU girls, who fast for their boyfriends without their parents’ knowledge.
Mehak Malhotra, a student of Mata Sundri College, says, “My parents have no clue about me observing a fast on Karva Chauth that I do for my boyfriend. But you still need all the support to get through the day without even a drop of water. So who extends the moral support? friends,” says Malhotra, adding, “considering we’ve back-to-back lectures, strenuous sports practice and what not —fasting for a day seems by no means an easy feat. But friends keep me going.”
The boyfriends are ecstatic while the girlfriends end up being part of the chaos that ensues.
“My friend Riya had hidden her relationship from her parents so when she came to college, she had to throw away her lunch. By the lunch time she started feeling dizzy. And by the end of the day, she had fainted thrice, and once even her head banged on the wall. Why did she do such a silly thing, I don’t understand!” says Nishita Narwal, a student of Daulat Ram College.
While these girls end up feeling sick and miss classes, their friends have to compromise too. Priyanka Kaur, student of Mata Sundri College, says that her entire gang had to bunk their classes for the day because her friend Shivani fainted. Kaur adds, “We kept telling her all day — kuch toh kha le, but no! She was so hell bent on fasting that she ended up fainting and we had to literally carry her out of the class. We kept tending to her in the college itself else her parents would have come to know that she’s fasting. Pura din classes bunk kari sabne.”
Mention the word professor and a lightening strikes all. They say that it’s difficult to hide their weariness from their teachers. “When our friend Harkamal kept a fast for her boyfriend last year, we all told her that she would not be able to handle the hunger pangs and would start feeling weak,” Osheen Martolia, student, Daulat Ram College. She adds, “The stubborn girl did not listen to us and ended up feeling short of breath and fainted during the class. We had to join the chairs at the back of the class and make her lie down without drawing anyone’s attention or the professor would have called up her parents and even her relationship would have been disclosed.”
These girls who’re fasting say consider their girlfriends as their saviours. Mehak Malhotra, a student of Mata Sundri College, says, “I don’t know what I would have done with my gang. Since my parents don’t know about my relationship and that keep a Karva Chauth fast for my boyfriend and hiding it from them creates a panga sometimes. It is my friends who come to my rescue and take care of me.”