Karwa Chauth: How Delhi-NCR women will fast in Covid-19 times
The celebrations might be smaller, but won’t loose their sheen say Delhi-NCR women who are set to fast this Karwa Chauth amid the pandemic. It won’t be like any previous year, but the women in the city are all geared up to make it #memorable nonetheless. Think smaller groups, sitting in separate balconies, matching masks and gloves with fancy attires, using sanitiser after every ritual, and the likes.
Prayer and games while sitting in separate balconies
For Delhi-based lecturer Anshu Popli, “health and safety” are priority. “We have decided to carry out the puja and thali ritual in small groups of no more than four ladies, and mostly from the same building. We’ll be wearing masks and will thoroughly sanitize our hands before and after the ritual. To keep the sense of community intact, we have decided to sit in balconies during the puja, so that we can see each other, talk, pray and play games until we spot the moon in the evening.”
No outside food, only homemade prasad
Risshma Aggarwal, a Gurugram-based academics officer, says, “Every year I celebrate this day with my close friends and the lovely ladies in my residential society. We indulge in lots of preparations beforehand. But, this year it’s going to be different because of the pandemic. I’ve decided that my joy, happiness and respect for this day will be more like any other year, but the number of people with whom I will celebrate will be less. I’ve decided that this year I’ll celebrate it with only few close friends whom I know are healthy and safe in the pandemic, so far.”
She adds, “Keeping all safety measures in mind like sanitisation of place in the residential apartments, gloves and mask, continuous use of sanitiser, homemade prasad and social distancing during puja, we will celebrate this day with great enjoyment and devotion. We will also pray to Goddess Parvati to consecrate us with a healthy life and Mother Earth.”
Matching masks with attires
A teacher by profession, Nitima Arora, who used to go to Suncity Park for the puja, in presence of as least 20 women who used to sit in a circle, is planning it differently this year. She says, “I would prefer a group of four to five women only. I’ll hear the story narrating significance of Karwa Chauth in an audio inside the house, and when moving out for exchange of thalis, will of course wear mask and gloves. If matching ask is the need of the hour, then so be it. Life has to be beautiful, individuals will become appealing any way!”
Pooja with fewer people: Sanitised place
Bhawna Shakadwipee, a home baker, says, “This time due to Covid-19, I am planning to do the puja at my friend’s place only with my very close friends whom I know have been very cautious and careful in taking Covid-19 precautions throughout these last eight months. We will ensure safety by sanitising the place where everyone sits for the puja, and will use masks, gloves etc. Prasad and all offerings will be strictly home made this time. We will celebrate this pooja with fewer friends but loads of joy, and also a prayer that things get better soon.”
A safety bubble!
Monalika Sabharwal, an entrepreneur, says: “Few of my friends and me have decided to create a “safety bubble “ for the coming festivities and Karwa Chauth puja specially. Puja will be done with my closed group of friends experiencing safety bubble in a well sanitised place using masks, gloves but with same energy, joy and vigour.”
“We have also decided to savour on home made snacks and sweets for the Pooja . We will pray together for the safety and well-being of our loved ones,” she adds.
Looking #festive ready this #KC this 2020
The salons were abuzz with crowds this time around, with many offering a huge discounts. “We have launched exclusive Karwa CHauth head to toe packages. We have also introduced value cards, where customer gets services for more than the value they pay. For the main day, we have party makeup and hair styling package priced at ₹2,999, which has already been booked by many women across all our branches,” says Divya Parchani, marketing manager-India, Geetanjali Salons.
Another popular salon chain is offering 25% discount on beauty services and highlights/keratin/smoothening at ₹5999, and global at ₹4999.
While some were kicked up getting ready at salons, others chose to stay in due to corona scare. City-based wedding planner Sidhi Mitra was excited about visiting the salons. She says, “I’m visiting Looks Salon for a complete transformation today. Pretty excited for this Karwa Chauth. I am having a Covid-19 era wedding on November 25, so video call is a part of all my rituals. Also I would be doing a ritual over with my mother-in-law as she is in Canada.”
While some like homemaker, Sonakshi Chopra will be doing the makeup and hair myself. “Will be doing over video call this time around for rituals. Having kids around so can’t take a chance this year,” she says.
Shopping galore this Karwachauth
Organic products, quirky prints, make-up essentials, the hampers this Karwachauth got a fun twist keeping the traditional essence intact. “We have the immunity-booster thali that has munakka , Vitamin-C rich fruits,kadha,daily booster capsules, dryfruits, customised according to need. We have the Suhag platter for daughter-in-law that includes bangles, mehendi, nail paint and the likes for Rs 1000. The sargj thali is priced at 800, and chunni for karwachauth 1000,” says Kajal Bhatla, from Packing Studio.
Gurugram-based Meenakshi Trehan who is selling organic hampers for the fest, tells us: “During Covid, times have been tough. But all are products are known to boost immunity. These are organic and each has its own quality in boosting immunity.It’s the perfect gift for MIL and daughter-in-laws. We have delivered to a few customers who chose it for their MIL.The hamper consists of 250gm organic honey, 250gm desi cow ghee, 100ml cold pressed yellow mustard oil, 100ml wood pressed extra virgin coconut oil, 100gm almonds, 100gms raisins, mishri, elaichi, diya.”
The market is slow but home made edible lovers are buying home made things only for their family and same things they are “gifting to their relatives also,” says Aakriti Bilala, from The Chocolatiezs By Aakriti, adding, “Our hamper includes cashews, almonds, mitha chivda, mehendi and chocolates.”
Demand up for hampers
“We are getting more than 500 orders per day for Karwa Chauth gifting category, and have overall received 5,000 orders,” says Vikaas Gutgutia, founder and MD, Ferns N Petals, adding, “We have a variety of exquisite Karwa Chauth gift hampers and combos like personalised thali and kalash combo, make-up essential hampers that have an assortment of branded cosmetic items like vermillion, bindi, nail enamel, and more. The range of Karwa Chauth special gift hampers and thalis starts from ₹499 to ₹4099.”
For quirky gift lovers, Anshika Gupta, from Nine2mine is offering a set of PJs for their hubbies. She says, “Our Karwa Chauth hamper includes four set of pyjamas and is priced at ₹2,500. Our sales have been decent. Not as much it would be had things been normal. But since these boxes have quirky PJs, a lot of wives are showing interest in buying them for their husbands. It’s a utility as they can wear it even as they work from home or otherwise.”
For the Fragnance lovers, Drishika Dabra from The Sabun Stories, says, “For Karwa Chauth, we have hampers comprising soap, ubtan, bath soak and body butter. This is non gender biased hamper; and we also have charcoal body scrub.”
Author tweets @nainaarora8