Moonstruck on Karva Chauth: Celebrating love and longing
Spice of Life: A husband owes much to his wife for the fasts and prayers for his long life, so there should be a ritual of pampering her, too
As the sun sets on the auspicious day of Karva Chauth, the wait for moonrise begins. This Sunday, sighting the moon will be the most awaited event in India. The first thing I look for in the newspaper on Karva Chauth is the weather column for the moonrise time. Somehow, sighting the moon, which is visible easily on other days, becomes elusive on this special day.
Nature seems to test our devotion. All family members keep gazing at the sky and the most-awaited sentence of the day is, “Chand dikh gaya (There’s the moon!)”. Thanks to the tall buildings in cities, spotting the moon has become even more challenging nowadays. The sky-scraping apartments block the view and clouds play a vital role amid the hide and seek. To tide over the predicament, I make the house help climb on the water tank on our terrace to gain height and locate the moon. Often, I get mistaken by bulbs gleaming in the distance and break into a happy gig with a sparkle in the eyes only to realise that it’s a case of mistaken identity.
The long wait on the terrace eventually yields a glimpse of the moon, shining in the dark sky. There is a sense of achievement as an electrifying wave of enthusiasm engulfs everyone breaking the fast. Pictures of the moon are shared on social media amid phone calls to exchange greetings and blessings.
I love this concept of Karva Chauth as it rings in the festive spirit. We Indians celebrate our special occasions with gusto, breaking the monotony of our lives. The flavours and frolic of our vivid celebrations keep us charged up and devoted. The custom of applying mehndi in the run-up to Karva Chauth, for instance, is an added charm for the children also as the mehndi wala (henna artist) comes home to apply intricate designs to our hands.
On a selfish note, to escape the food craving, I keep the lunch menu for others as simple as possible. Next, I keep myself occupied as it helps cross the hunger bridge.
Every year, I recall special experiences of this special day. Once when I was staying in a hotel in Chennai for a night en route to Tirupati, I went to the hotel terrace to do the puja and was feeling awkward as I thought I would be alone up there. To my surprise, a bevy of beauties, who were also guests at the hotel, had gathered to celebrate Karva Chauth. They were aesthetically attired, waiting to see the moon. We chatted for a long time. It was an unforgettable experience and many of us became friends and are still in touch.
Wives keep this fast affectionately and devotedly. The festival entitles a wife the extra edge to win and rule over her husband’s heart. A husband owes much to his wife for the fasts and prayers for his long life, so there should be a ritual of pampering the wife in return. It will give him an opportunity to express his love as well.
This pious occasion definitely deepens the bond between couples. It is an expression of intense feelings of true love and care towards the spouse. Nothing can express the infinite love more than a devotedly kept fast for the spouse. And yes, for every woman, be it a late or early darshan, Chandramaji’s blessings are the most important. firstname.lastname@example.org
The writer is a New Delhi-based freelance contributor