Is Karva Chauth a Regressive Festival for Women

I am a South Indian, who has never celebrated Karwa Chauth. My limited knowledge about this festival is based on what bollywood taught me. Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge was the first movie, wherein I saw someone performing the Karwa Chauth Pooja. athe followed by Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam and Kabhi Khushi Kabhi Gham and finally the K serials.  Yet, since last couple of years my information and source about Karwa Chauth has been limited to the Debates on Social media. These debates and discussions are sometimes hilarious and sometimes so extreme that they do not make sense at all.

Also Read: To fast or not to fast

So Karva Chauth, falls on the fourth day of the month of karthik, i.e. on the fourth day after Sharad Poornima. Yes, this day is special to me, because as I had mentioned in my previous article that my son was born on Sharad Poornima, I brought him home on the day of Karva Chauth. We do not follow this ritual but I find it very interesting. Until a few years ago I used to regularly fast on Sankashti, which is the fourth day after the Full Moon Day, so indirectly I ended up fasting on Karva Chauth unknowingly. So it is not only me, many other men and women during one point of time used to follow the ritual of fasting on Sankranti i.e. the fourth day after New Moon Day or on Ekadashi i.e. the Eleventh day after the New moon day.

Also Read: Religion and Me

Today, we eat all sorts of junk food and then proudly pay 1000’s of rupees to the Dietician, who will give you a Diet Chart to Detox your body. During the good old days, people did take better care of their health by following a particular diet. If your health permits, fasting is one of the best ways to take care of your stomach and increase your immunity system. Today Intermitten Diet is kind of a Fashion for anyone who desperately wants to loose weight. A lot of them including me, have been desperately trying to follow this Diet, so we can take care of our bodies and strengthen our digestive system along with detoxing our bodies and loosing some bad weight. The problem is we are extremly crazy, when some foreigner tells us, how they are taking care of their body by eating right. But somehow, we find it very regressive, when our own ancestors tell us, how to eat right based on the climatic conditions.

Today, we see a lot of women talking about how they need a break from their husbands and children atleast for a few hours and get dressed, pamper themselves and when our tradition gives them an option to do so for a day, we call this idea regressive. Fasting for an entire day is not something that everyone can do.It needs certain amount of patience and strong will power.

There was a reason, why during olden days, women fasted on certain days, because fasting has ceretain rules to be followed. Like, generally a lot of mothers including myself end up eating left over food by our children because we do not wish to throw away or waste food. When you are fasting, you have to first complete your pooja and then eat fresh food served on your plate. Another rule followed while breaking your fast is that, when a person has his first meal post fasting, it has to be light meal and no non-vegetarian food and that has to be consumed in one go, you are not allowed to get up from your place, while eating your first food post fasting. Trust me for mothers, in any generation, this is pure bliss, because any woman ends up getting up with her plate atleast 2-3 times for some or the other reason. Surviving on Fruits and Milk for a designated day in a month, can do wonders to your digestive system.

In Maharashtra, during the Month of Shravan, married women along with their children gather on every tuesday and celebrate the festival of Mangala Gaur. The scientific or traditional reason behind this is that during the olden days during the heavy rains, women had no place to go or to socialise and therefore, these festivals gave them an opportunity to get dressed, sing folk songs, perform traditional dance which strengthened their body and improved concentration.

Sometimes, I feel that our olden day practices, were much better, we worshipped nature and therefore there were no unseasonal rains or side effects of global warming.

We gave sufficient “ME Time” to the women, who would fast together. sing together, dance together, work together and also take care of themselves. Instead of today, wherein we women have become keyboard warriors to fight for the same so called freedom, which we abused in the name of being regressive. Yes, the one of the people, who have benefitted the most from religious traditions are brands and Television and Film Production Houses, who have been playing with people’s emotions around these beautiful traditions.

Will I fast for my husband ?

I have been married for almost 7 and a half years now. I have been observing fasting since my college days, because every one felt that I was too emotional and not mentally strong. If I had to do it once a year, I do not see any harm in doing so. But, if you expect me to get dressed up in bollywood style, I would probably not do that. My husband would have to see me break the fast in comfortable track pants and tshirts. I think getting dressed up specially for someone else is a bigger effort than observing fast. There are some wierd people like me who still exist. I have nothing against the women who dress up. Infact I love makeup, the only problem is I am way too lazy to do it.

Any lovely ladies who would love to share their Karva Chauth Pictures in this article please do get in touch with me.

P.S. I had been planning to write this article since last few days, but it was one stupid tweet by Chetan Bhagat, which gave me the motivation to write this article at 1.30 am.

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