Before getting married Karva Chauth used to really freak me out! The idea of waking up at 4 am to eat and then literally starving the rest of the day was totally beyond my understanding.
On Karva Chauth, I used to look at married women and feel bad for them. First of all women have to be decked up all day long. They would even come all decked up at work and nibble little tit bit throughout the day and somehow pull through till the night.
To add on to all of that, they have to get ready at night with a nice saree or suit . Don’t forget applying makeup and throwing on some jewellery. They are already tired after getting ready.
Then they wait for the moon, finish off their rituals and then finally get to eat a proper meal.
How can one look beautiful if you’re half dead?
I would faint if I had no food going in me. I need to eat! It’s simple as that!
After my mother got married, on her first Karva Chauth my dad told her, “you don’t need to starve yourself unnecessarily, such things don’t make any sense to me.” And that was that for her. Karva Chauth was like any other normal day for her.
So, after I got married I was most delighted when I got to know my mother-in-law follows the same logic. She is a firm believer of Sahaja Yoga where you are not forced to do any form of fast for any festival. It's all your will. If you want to fast, you can and if you don’t want to fast, it's good too.
I thought to myself, beta! Tu bach gayi! I was so happy!! Believe me! I was on cloud 9!
So do we celebrate??
Yes!! We do! It’s just made a lot more simpler.
So, basically we eat like we always do on any other regular day.(Thank God!)
We have to look nice and pretty in the evening which I personally don’t mind because at least I'm not hungry.
Me and my bhabi decide beforehand what we would wear and keep everything ready. I would steal her bangles since she has such a huge collection. Every year I would tell her “I would need your bangles for karva chauth.” She would smile and say, “haan haan le le na.”
My bhabhi loves getting mehndi applied on her hands. But it has to be from a good artist who can apply intricate designs. In my case I couldn't be bothered. I just apply mehendi because I have to and I don’t have much of a choice. I never keep it on for too long. Plus after becoming a mother I have a million reasons why I need to wash it off.
But this time when I got mehendi put, Reya didn't like it. At first she thought it was a tattoo. Bhabi got her mehendi done first and then it was my turn. Reya looked at me with this weird look plastered on her face and she said "app bhi kara rahe ho??" (you're also getting it done?) After that she told me to go wash my hands.
Feeding her was a huge task after that because she said it stinks. Even getting her to drink a glass of water was such a challenge. Can't blame her.
So, by late evening we all start getting ready. I even make my daughter wear something ethnic that day because I feel everyone is getting ready, so get her ready as well. Once we are all dressed we check what time the moon is coming. I remember, on my second Karva Chauth, we all were so hungry but there was no sight of the moon. We ordered pizza, hogged and then went to the terrace to admire the moon. We three ladies had a good laugh because our stomachs were full and our neighbours were starving. Sounds mean, I know, but who can resist a good pizza.
So usually, once the moon is out, we all go to the terrace. The kids are super excited to go to the roof at night since it isn’t a part of their everyday routine. One by one we all admire the moon and do chaand ki puja. We click some pictures and family selfies.
After all of this we head back downstairs, MIL usually decides what needs to be cooked. But on this day we eat a pure vegetarian dinner that would include puri, matar paneer, aloo ki subji and lot of other items. We all eat a family dinner together which we all really enjoy because we don’t get to eat together daily as everyone’s schedules don’t match.
So, yeah that’s that!! Short and simple!
So, how do you ladies celebrate Karva Chauth?