Today is one of those special day of the year when I feel so blessed to have a life partner like M and really thank God from bottom of my heart for bringing him into my life. You would be thinking why only this day...it is not that these feelings are just reserved for this day but this one day bound by tradition and culture makes it all the more special. Today is my fourth Karva Chauth. In modern days this festival has been much glorified and commercialized due to its significant portrayal in Hindi films and television soaps. But for me this day is to celebrate my belief in this beautiful relationship and to pray to Almighty to keep it savored with much love and trust which are the two most essential pillars of any relationship. Karva Chauth is a festival of love and belief and gets its name from the diya or karva which is used in pooja and chauth as it falls on the fourth day of the dark fortnight (Krishna Paksha of Kartik month). It is considered an important and auspicious day for married women.
I love applying mehendi and get it done in the evening a day before for the color to come out dark and bright. Mehendi walas are in high demand this day and have their rates soaring high. I remember long queues at the mehendi shops in Lajpat nagar as late as 12 in the night when I used to stay in Delhi. Markets are all decorated in the festive colors with beautifully decorated pooja thalis and ladies flood the market for buying their karvas and pooja stuff. This festival is celebrated in groups mostly in northern part of the country but as not many people follow this custom here down south, I do it in my home along with my close family members.
My day starts with the fast, with the pooja preparations by decorating the karva, setting up the place for pooja, all decorated with diyas, colorful rangoli, coconut, ashok leaves, fruits and sweets. I make poori and halwa for prasad. All decked up in a traditional attire with colorful bangles, bindis and traditional jewellery, pooja is done in the evening which includes reading the Karva Chauth vrat katha. The fast is broken after the sunset with sighting the moon through a sieve and then looking at M (though he finds this whole process amusing) and taking the first sip of water and first crunch of food from his hand. But sometimes Mr. Moon tests my patience and takes his own sweet time to appear playing hide & seek with clouds. Last time I was lucky. Lets hope for the best this year.
This whole celebration and process may seem mockery to some people who quote it as a blind faith and a fashionable trend........but I feel it is a small gesture to hold on to each other and say "I Care".
Happy Karva Chauth to all the ladies and their husbands or to-be husbands.