Karva Chauth’s Vulgarity

karva chauthIn the world of marketing gimmicks, every day should be a celebration and festival. Karva Chauth is one of the many successfully tailored made event by the marketing gurus. The fact this genuine fasting of wives for the well-being of their husbands as per the traditional Indian custom has been given a dirty twist by the greedy (sorry their duty) companies. In the era of recession everyone is looking for profit. When the sources are dried out emotional well can be the last bet for the livelihood and business deals of these companies. Can they be blamed for the social interest in giving glamour to one of the highly emotional, personal and pure event in married person’s life? It is the people who should know how to handle these temptations and refrain from splurging their emotions in public and exhibiting their love for their spouses. When neighbhours indulge in heavy priced gifts for the fasting wives and gala event to see the face of their husbands under the moon how can one keep quiet? After all the social infection is highly contagious and cannot be treated even by the best expert in the universe.

The latest missile fired in the Karva Chauth gala is celebration by gays. Why should they lag behind? It is free India, free marketing and free fall. Let all of us cheer these Karva Chauth champions and take the society to the collapse or we should intervene to eliminate the vulgarity shown in the celebrations. It is your choice and my choice.

Jahnavi Iyer writes in The Times of India (7 October 2009)

Lugging four shopping bags, Tanmay, 26, is glowing. Wednesday is his big day when he fasts for his partner’s well being! Many gays in Ahmedabad are quietly readying themselves for a penance usually done by a wife for her husband – Karva Chauth. Just that the prayers here will deviate a bit to ask God to make them a woman in the next life!

While most are going to make it a no-food affair, some have decided to follow the traditional `nirjal’ (without water) fast to pray for the long lives of their boyfriends.

From applying home-made face packs to buying new clothes, they are going about it just like women. Says Dipak, a 29-year-old engineer, “I am going to fast for my boyfriend’s long life. Although I will not be applying henna on my hands, I will eat only after I see his face against the moon.”

With many of them hiding their true identities from the family, they are unable to follow the tradition completely.

Jatin, who wants to do all the rituals, rues the fact that unlike women, who get a `sargi’, a platter of eatables and a few gifts from a mother-in-law, he will not get one. “Last year, I woke up before sunrise and ate what I had prepared the previous night. Although I keep a rigid fast, I wish I had a `sargi’.”

Jatin got an expensive branded watch last year as a Karva Chauth gift and Hitesh, who is fasting for the first time, is looking forward to the promised gold bracelet.

The fast, they say, is an expression of their love but they confess that it requires a lot of patience. “Unlike women, we don’t get to rest on that day. So, we end up working without food or water which is very tiring. I hope the moon rises early,” says Dipak.

For Hitesh, it will be a dream fulfilled. “I have always wanted to do this fast and look at him through the strainer. I have seen it in many movies and am looking forward to do it. I hope that in next life, I am born a girl.”

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