From ‘Big Screen’ to ‘Small Screen’, actresses to next-door women, Punjab to Rajasthan – what seems common to all is the celebration of the beautiful occasion of Karva Chauth. Thanks to our very own Bollywood and the so-different-yet-so-similar stereotypic Hindi serials, Karva Chauth has been glamorized to an unimaginable extent. Their larger than life portrayal of every aspect of the occasion has surely been successful in sketching filmy imaginations in every young woman’s mind.
Honestly, I feel nobody really cares as to how and why this event came into existence but what really appeals is the pampering and indulgence associated with it. Every woman enjoys a day of complete gratification. From her husband, in-laws to parents, everybody and everything seems to revolve around the fairer sex. So what if this comes with a day of complete fasting, young people are anyway used to dieting on a regular basis for maintaining their hour-glass figure.
Karva Chauth is mostly limited to the northern and western regions of India with much prominence in Punjab, Haryana, Rajasthan, Himachal Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh. The day brings with it hopes, aspirations and wishes for a long and blissful marital life. Women, beautifully decked and dressed, are seen praying for the health and longevity of their husbands. Though rituals could be slightly different in respective states yet they follow a general pattern.
Morning Shows the Day
First and foremost comes Sargi, an assortment of sumptuous goodies comprising of fruits, Indian bread, fried potatoes, meethi matthis, phirni and milk-based sweets along with a basket of gifts, apparels, dry fruits, jewellery and loads of love, gifted by the girl’s mother-in-law. In few places, idols of Shiva, Parvati, Ganesh and Kartikeya are worshipped as well. As strenuous fasting follows until night, hence women are expected to grab a wholesome bite before sunrise.
For the major part of the day, ladies are seen coddling in the parlour, getting their curls right and faces bright. Each mehendi-designed hand looks amazing with deepening colour instilling unmeasured happiness in their hearts.
With evening starts the major part of the ritual. Brightly-coloured suits, sarees, ghagras or lehengas, along with the traditional red dupatta on the head, are seen draped around bright-eyed women flaunting their bridal finery. With scintillating exteriors and bubbling interiors, they sit around the idol of Goddess Parvati, placed on the sanctified ‘kharia matti‘, listening to Vratha Katha narrations. Each woman places a red thread-tied karva full of water with seven pieces of pua in front of her and sprinkles water, aipun, roli and rice on the deity.
The Moon Finally Shines
Ladies are gathered in large numbers listening to tales and praying for their husbands’ welfare until the moon finally shines in the night sky and the day-long wait comes to an end. With lit-earthen pots, water-filled containers, chhanni or sieve and eager faces, the moment seems magical with a romantic spark in the air when each wife looks into the eyes of her husband through the sieve. Her fast finally ends with her husband feeding her water and a morsel of food.
The eternal bond of marriage simply strengthens with time. Little gifts and heart-felt expressions just add to its beauty. Even romantic songs sprinkle magic in the air. Bollywood is totally ecstatic about romance and has revived the concept of love time and again through its evergreen films like Hum Apke Hain Kaun, Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge, Kabhi Khushi Kabhi Gham and so on.
Now ladies, with Karva Chauth just round the corner, plan everything before-hand to make your day simply perfect and gentlemen, fully explore your cities to discover the best gift for your better half.