I just read Sonia Chopra’s "Women take a stand, stop Karva Chauth". Ladies, for god's sake, don’t stop it. It will rob me of a wonderful day that comes only once a year!
You see, I have been 60 years on this planet and in my younger years, I used to see my mother look forward to this day with great anticipation. And my brother and I would look forward to having the "siwaiyan" in milk and something salty early in the morning; my dad was always there too, partaking of the "sehri". And as I grew up and got a better half, the first Karva Chauth came up while I was doing the "Jungle and Snow Survival" course in Srinagar. Boy, was it tough, I mean the survival course.
My wife had joined me for the first two weeks of theory classes and physical conditioning phase before the real tough outings started. We were in the Badami Bagh mess, which is surrounded by towering hills. We, and I repeat we, were on a fast, a modified one, in which we had decided to have helpings of tea and juice at fixed timings (she in the mess and me at the airfield), considering that I had a 10km run in the morning and then games in the evening. My wife had seen her mother keeping the traditional "tough" Karva Chauth fast but decided to modify it because I too wanted to keep it for her long life. As I joke with her, "Badi mushkil se ek bibi mili hai yaar", and I have to pray to the Lord for her longevity too!
So, why stop a "happening" event just because some "old witch" invented it? If we do that, we may lose out on many more joyous events in our incredibly cultural India. Why not modify it and make it as enjoyable as possible? You see, when I was in Sudan on Indian Air Force (IAF) duty, the ritual continued through internet for our "synchronised" tea and fruit juice breaks! Oh! How enjoyable it was – me in my blistering hot tent in the desert of Sudan having an iced orange juice, courtesy the fabulous rations given by the United Nations, and my wife sipping tea in Mumbai with our daughter and son-in-law, who incidentally has also taken on to the "modified" Karva Chauth fast.
In these days of a crackerless Diwali owing to the threat of environmental pollution and a dry Holi with no wet colours owing to chemicals in water paints, I look forward to the Karva Chauth where my wife and I talk to each other more during extra phone calls to synchronise our eating while partaking of tea and fruit juice. The sentiment behind it is so noble that instead of throwing the suggestion of the "old witch" out of the window, we can modify it, in whatever way we want, so that the bond between a husband and wife becomes stronger. Karva Chauth is wonderful and I look forward to it. What say you Vini? And let me call up Vini now, as it’s time for the afternoon "synchronised" juice break on OUR Karva Chauth fast!