Celebrated by married women primarily for the longevity of their husbands lives KARVA CHAUTH is celebrated in communities across north India, significantly “PUNJAB”, with the belief that no harm can be done to them, and they can be snatched back from death too, if the women pleased the GODDESS by fasting all day long and praying for her husband.
A day of significance that was limited to a certain community has now become a mainstream trend across all cultures and religions for the youth and novae wed, thanks primarily to Bollywood and its portrayal of it, as an epitome of love by the woman and the man’s acceptance of it.
Just like “valentines day” is a global declaration day, Karva Chauth has certainly moved out of its Punjabi neighbourhood, across cultures and into the streets of India.
So, WHY AM I TALKING ABOUT IT?
Extremely regressive and patriarchal. PERIOD. From my point of view.
First and foremost to begin with, why is a woman fasting for a man and not the other way around? Is a woman’s life not as important? Do they not want to live longer?
or can a man not remain hungry for a day to prove and declare his love for his woman?
I am not talking out of some bra-burning feministic point of view here.
I respect the difference in genders as we all are physically, emotionally, mentally etc.
I believe in being neutral or equal.
Not one over the other.
TOGETHER AS ONE.
My question here is:
CAN PRAYERS ALONE MAKE SOMEONE’S LIFE LONGER OR SHORTER?
Does your fasting truly create a longer life for your man? Or would his own choices in his life create a longer life for him?
His own health, his own lifestyle, his own food habits, his own exercise regime or perhaps the lack of it, his illnesses, medications or his own longevity?
How does your fasting, create a longer life for a man, who may smoke out a pack a day?
How does your one day of fast, and waiting for the moon, create a longer life for a man, whose lifestyle has never let him sit back and watch the sun or the moon rise, and enjoy a moment or two of this naturally beautiful phenomena peacefully or in its serenity???
How does your fasting for one day, turn your relationship into that of oneness, when the entire year around you don’t even like the presence of each other???
How does your fasting for a man give him a long life when he has lifestyle illness to deal with, due to his own choices ???
Most of all, if it did so work, wouldn’t we have all PUNJABI/NORTH INDIAN MEN, living way past all others on this planet? because their woman fasted for their long lives and appeased the GODs and GODDESSes???
SO MY QUESTION TO ALL THE WOMEN OUT THERE IS:
Where are you in all of this ???
What is your choice in it ???
Are you even thinking and questioning for yourself here ???
Or. are you just following, aping and mimicking traditions and beliefs and cultures?
YES do pamper yourself, by all means, dress up, deck up, makeup, adorn your palm and feet and whatever part of your body you please with henna as a part of its ritual.
Do all of it..,, and then ask, what and why and who are you truly doing it all for?
How many men and husbands actually don’t want the women and wive’s to fast because they truly believe in reality and equality and not insignificant traditions?
Knowing fully well they have progressed beyond it, or understand that their life is their choice.
And yet, how many women choose to follow it not only because it is a tradition BUT also because it is a whole lot of superstition???
Also ask, is this a legacy you would pass down to your future generations of girls and daughters and women ???
Would you give your girls a choice and empower them?
Or would you ask them to walk two steps behind their men and fast for them to live longer ???
Would you bring up boys who are more gender sensitive and equal or want them to get wives to fast for their lives to be longer ???
Maybe it is time, we bring in more spirituality, consciousness, and awareness instead of outdated traditions, superstitions and rituals.
Maybe it is time to make a change, in our lives and bring in more authenticity, more truth about being who we are and live as an equal society and be gender neutral.
Maybe it is time, women woke up and acknowledged they are having fun with a certain tradition and ritual which has turned into a grand affair with its pre-parties and dress codes and invitees and activities…and a whole lot more.
Most women wait for the gifts from the mother in laws and husbands and to flaunt their designer dresses and also, then to exchange notes and to gossip and judge all of it and each other the next day, just as they do about their holidays and clothes and shopping trips etc.
NOT to forget mentioning how they nearly died, fainted and fell sick while fasting that day, and it is so not their thing to do…but they do it for various reasons.
If you are ENJOYING doing all of the above, please continue to do so, but do not make it a part of some regressive ritual. Let us be honest in what we are doing and being. And be courageous enough to say NO and step out of the box and make a change.
Do it all knowing and acknowledging fully well that your choice is what you choose to do, and it is not connected to anybody else’s life except your own.
All I am asking is,
What are you choosing for you???
Be empowered in your own knowing and in your choices….and CHOOSE for YOU.