Saturday, October 15, 2011

The unbearable lightness of Karvachauth

I can never be a candidate for Karvachauth (in which the wife fasts for the husband's longevity of life and other such). Now, considering that most men lead such debauched lifestyles that such a fast may be ordained as one of the things that could redeem, if not resurrect them, I may perhaps be disallowing the husband a huge chance at salvation. Ah! Sad, that.

But anything that involves fasting of any kind (even if it means postponing my meal by half hour) sends shivers down my spine. So, fine, I don't have the tenacity of an Anna Hazare or Baba Ramdev or a Medha Patkar, but perhaps they never had such a strong relationship with food anyway. So it must come easy to them.

Plus I am not endowed with huge fat resources, so more is the trouble. Three, I metabolise like a maniac. Just thinking about food is enough to digest it and want more. 

In fact, I didn't even realise it was the aforementioned fasting festival which involves, among other things, a moon, a sieve and a husband, until a friend of mine gloated about his wife fasting on facebook. (Thank god for facebook. The things we would miss otherwise!)

When I married the husband, the thing topmost in my mind was that "How can I act breezy about already having eaten dinner when he came home everyday?". Thing is, I have a 8 pm tummy alarm, and I can wait no later than 10 minutes to attack my meal. The husband thankfully never shows up at that unearthly hour, so I can eat my meal in peace. 

Until the child arrived, but that's a story for the other blog. The most dedication to wifely duty I could manage was to have lunch with him at 3 pm on a wretched Saturday in the early days of our marriage. Needless to say, it created a tsunami in my gastric flora and fauna. So fasting for the husband? Not happening. 

In fact, I thought to myself, why should bother, since he fasts regularly for me anyway. As in, he forgets to eat. In my mother's book, that is enough punya for the both of us.  

So happy Karvachauth darling, and I will never fast for you. It's not that I love you less. I just love food more. 


  1. If I ever meet your husband, I'm going to award him the "husband of the year" award.

    Me, I'm invariably late, blame it on Indian traffic situation or just the way I take my life and wife for granted.

    Its a amazing sight to see someone care enough to wait for you before they sit down to dinner.

    (Let me say here that I do the same too silently if she is late even though I would not acknowledge it in public being the chauvinist that I am , since I know the comfort it gives)

    I agree that previously women fasted because somewhere they were brain washed into believing that they would be better off having the same person for "saat janam". Better the known devil etc.

    Nowadays with Chinese Italian etc available freely who wants only daal chawal for seven jamnams so the Karva Cauth has lost its meaning.

    Its not that I'm sadistic enough to want to see a woman suffer all day for my happiness and I don't believe in fasts. (I have my kinks, sadism is not one of them especially where food is concerned since I'm perhaps a glutton)

    However, I must point out that I'm surprised when my educated female friends can never tell me what the meaning of Karva Cauth is and why they keep the fast. But come hell come high water they do.

  2. Hi Patriot,

    I am thoroughly impressed by your piece.I could not refrain from commenting after reading your last few lines...

    Because I too have the same question...

    The customs and traditions were made to suit the socio cultural mindset in those times....with time,things should change.

    But sadly,they dont, We continue with them,although the belief is not as strong,the logic,not so clear....but we still continue because we would rather stay hungry for one day and belong to the sati savitri club,than give explanations on why we feel that the concept seems outdated to us... and deal with the shocked and horrified expressions which we get.
    Karva Chauth is supposed to be kept nirjala meaning without taking water..and when I tell people that I take water fruits depending on the severity of pet ke choohe,I get "the look" and a few words of compassion saying that yeh,aaj kal to sab kuch chalta hai...

    So u know what I mean...