Today is Karva-Chauth. The fourth day of the Krishna-Paksh (dark-fortnight) of the Indian Panchaang (calendar). Indian married ladies have a sentimental attachment with this festival and putting it straight, it is their festival only. It underscores their affection for their life-partners and their willingness to pray for their long-life. The Indian (mainly Hindu) ladies have a fast on this day for the sake of their Suhaag (husband) for whom they pray to the Almighty (a goddess known as the Karva-Chauth Maata) that it should always remain with them. A mythological story of a girl is related to it which is said to have been told by Shiva to his wife, Paarvati and Krishna to his sister, Draupadi.
This fast is a very strict one which is maintained throughout the day without consuming anything solid or liquid (not even plain water). It is broken at night after moonrise by seeing the moon through a sieve. The most sentimental thing for the married lady is to break her fast by drinking the water from the hand of her husband (whose sake the fast has been had for).
Well, I believe, though the Indian tradition (as in most of the relevant matters) expects the wife only to have a fast for the sake of the life of her husband, the husband can also follow suit for the sake of her life and well-being. In a patriarchal society, the ladies only are expected to sacrifice and suffer but can’t we, their counterparts, share some of their hardship and thereby try to empathize with whatever they undergo ?
I had maintained a fast on this day in 2008 to extend my moral support to my wife for her fast. During 2009 and 2010, I could not do it due to certain reasons. However, thereafter, I have been skipping my breakfast and lunch every year on this day to morally support my wife and have my dinner with herself only when she breaks her fast (I can’t say about myself that I also maintain a fast on her lines because of consuming water and tea).
Today, while sending my good wishes to all the married women on their festival, I advise them to go for wearing of special garments, different types of adornment and make-up (and a stylish hairdo, if they feel appropriate) tonight. Though I believe, beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder, beautifying oneself externally has its own importance. As a Hindi song says – Sajna Hai Mujhe Sajna Ke Liye (I have to make myself beautiful for the sake of my lover). They will break the fast by having a look of the moon in the sky. Let their husbands also see the moon on the Earth (in their personalities).