This year I celebrate my 15th Karva Chauth and somehow to both of us…the romance of this day hasn’t diminished in all these years. The day holds the same feel to us, as the first time we observed it as newly weds. It had been so exciting the first year..I had to constantly remind myself that I’m a married woman now! And, I’m getting to observe all the rituals a married woman does!
You know for the first time..as a woman, you realize, how much your spouse means to you..and, it just takes a fast to keep him safe??!! Sure, Naïve!! But, which newly wed would not fall for that!
To a man..its very flattering. Yeah! sure your mom and dad are always praying everyday for your safety..but when a women, your lover, your spouse, expresses the same..
The feeling becomes heady!!
I still remember the initial years … without information to Google on the internet…I had depended on the limited knowledge of Mommy dear on the phone(who wasn’t a Punjabi by birth but became one by marriage) and the movies, of course!
(PHOTO: My last minute effort to salvage some mehendi on my palms!!)
As I look back nostalgically on those years when I had waited till late night without breaking the fast, for the moon to show up, I love them, I miss them! Today, I would just Google the moon rise information, to confirm, that the moon has actually risen… and break my fast even on a cloudy day, looking in the direction of the moon…
There also had been a year, when I hadn’t eaten all night, because the night turned out cloudy and I couldn’t see the moon. How naïve I had been?!
It had made Hubby dear feel so guilty. The fast wasn’t as enervating as much as the thrill of seeing the guilt on Hubby dear’s face , the onus of the situation written all over him.
There had been years when I observed the fast on a wrong day and ended up observing it again on the right day!
All those years here in US, when..I hadn’t met a fellow women/colleague who was also observing the fast. Even if I did..it would have never occurred to me, that we could get together to observe the day together. All those years when I hadn’t done a Puja ritual that meant having to listen to the story of “Veerawati” while sitting with a group of women, passing the Puja Thali among us, as we listened to her story saying…
“Goli si so Rani hui, Rani si so Goli hui”!
I had done it my innocent way..earnestly, with whatever I had thought was the way to do.
As I try to recollect through most of the early years of marriage, young Hubby and me, had put all that youthful energy into work and night schools. We both had been busy and up to our noses in work and study.
We had never had the chance to spend the day together in each other’s company during any of the Karva Chauths..but, all the day..I knew, I was in Hubby dear’s thoughts as much as he was in mine, through all those office meetings and gossips with our colleagues, the only thing that had remained constant during the day between us, was us thinking of each other. There had been years when the moon would indeed show up in decent time but, Hubby dear would have night school to attend…(those were the days when he was busy with his MBA from Stern School of Business, NYU. Long days … Long long nights!!)
The fast that everybody makes a big deal of, only felt like something that accompanied the event, like it was part of the package of the day, and didn’t overtake what we felt for each other on the day..
This day almost felt like a second wedding anniversary in the year.. to us! My parents calling in on us…My mom checking on me to see, if I’m dressed enough to kill a bride in the room! It had felt so romantic. Philmy romantic!!
We might as well have been Shah Rukh and Kajol in DDLJ, or KKHH, in some parallel universe playing their parts like it was our own life.
Then during my pregnancy years and the years when I was nursing my children..how I had consciously taken the liberty to make sure I’m hydrated, with enough calories to sustain through the day, so, I could keep my children fed! Eating or drinking during those years had not made me feel guilty or taken the sanctity of the event away from me! In the end..one had to feel comfortable in your own mind…of what you want to do and what you don’t.
With years..I came to meet lots of women, friends, neighbors, who observed this day. Some women, who went out of the way to share this joy with me, I also came across women who were stiff enough not to !! I even came across temples and gatherings that observed this event and helped women gather around to share these moments with each other.
Today I’m surely much more wiser..but, when it comes to Karva Chauth, Hubby and me are the same hopelessly romantic newly weds, who love observing this event and revel in it. Actually, we even get teased by our girls!!
“Oh! you two love birds!!”
How they love watching me observe the day..paying attention to all the details…checking out, with how much care..I dress It’s going to be a lot of fun now..sharing this event with my children, as they grow.
Happy Karva Chauth to all the religious, the romantics..and the cynics…ALIKE!