Today is that day when I forgo food and water in the name of love for my husband and praying for his longevity and in turn making him feel very guilty. I agree with him totally, it is just so much more pressure on him, to remember yet another day in the calendar and have to be nice and express thankfulness for my presence because I fasted for him as if the rest of the days don’t count. I understand that these types of traditions are nothing but cultural remnants of an extremely male dominated society but I still follow it.
And I don’t really know why, why do I need to go through this set pattern of displaying love for my husband but I do, may be cause I am a rule following kind of a person. I don’t try to break them unless somebody is forcing me to follow them without logic (not that there is much logic to this fasting day)and then I would go off on a tangent; left to my own devices, I’d probably just follow the bee- line. Not that every body follows rules all the time or that it’s a bad thing to follow rules. But its part of my tradition and so I am following it, although it has already modified in several ways. I have blended the traditions that my mom and mom-in-law follow and developed something that works with my life style and my preferences.
I think I have talked about it before but most likely the new rice crop must hit the markets at this time and so rice is used for making offering for the god, just like in spring for ‘holi’ the offerings are made with wheat.
So the most coveted dish of this festival is the lentil dumplings, my mom makes them with wheat flour and my mom-in-law makes them with rice flour and I make them both. The sweet for the occasion is rice laddu (balls), my mom grinds fresh rice and adds clarified butter and powdered sugar and makes the laddus, I just buy the ready-made rice floor and mix it with condensed milk and they turn out just as good. I shared this recipe with my sister-in-law and my brother thinks they are yummier too.
Hey! If it’s easier and yummier, its a win-win, I am not going to let that go.
Another modernization that I have done to this fast is, I don’t spend the day in the kitchen like the previous generation, I grind my lentils and day in advance and check out the moon rise time from the NASA website, so that I am ready to break my fast as soon as that creamy little satellite decides to show up. And there are those days when I have to assume that glow in the sky hiding behind the clouds is the moon and offer water to it and break my fast. Lets hope today is not one of those days…
So ladies, ‘happy karva chauth’ and happy fasting, I hope that today out of all the other days you all feel like the most special wife on the face of this other and think that your fasting was worth it.