Make way for the gay people. Karva Chauth — the festival where traditionally married women fast for the long lives of their husbands — is no longer the sole territory of straight folks.
Today, quite a few gay men are observing it for their lovers. “Nowadays, everyone including the unmarried girls do it for their boyfriends, so why I can’t I for mine,” asks Abhijit Roy, a BPO employee in Noida who, too, is going hungry. “I’m doing it for our long and happy relationship.”
The day’s sanctity has found many takers. “I respect our traditions,” says Amrit Raj Bora, a fashion designer who is going steady with his partner for seven years. “Today I’ll offer special prayers for my man.”
For the homosexuals, the temptation is also to join the mainstream. Like office intern, Rishika Jairath, who is unmarried, committed and is fasting for her boyfriend.
“No custom says that Karva Chauth is only for married women. I’ll have sargi in the morning with my mom, and will pray in evening with her,” she says. MBA aspirant Naveen Gupta (name changed on request), though, is keeping his fast a secret from his mother. He is still not out. “It’s about showing my friend that I love him. He’s also doing it for me,” he says.
But Karva Chauth is no Valentine’s Day where people openly express their feelings. “Most gay people are too urbane and stylish and fear our friends would laugh if they get to know we’re observing Karva Chauth,” says Roy.
Roy himself has no such fear. “In DDLJ, Shah Rukh observed a fast for girlfriend Kajol.” This evening, like SRK, he will wait for the moon to appear, before looking at his boyfriend through a strainer. Only then will he break the fast — with a glass of beer! “Don’t mistake me; my lover is no God and this fast is not for him,” Roy added. “It’s for us.”