Karva Chauth – Fast and Furious

karva-chauth

A cat has nine lives, this is a myth (or is it a fact?) that I have heard and learnt over the years. I had always wished to witness at least one resurrection out of the nine, of a cat, but have never got the opportunity to see it.

Seeing Is Believing; it is said and so I have to dismiss it as a myth. The dexterity and agility of a cat’s ability to land on its feet and survive in situations which would have severely injured other animals is what I can possibly attribute to this thought.

Human beings surely have just one life, that’s something I should have been quite confident in my belief but I doubt even that. At least for me, I have more than one, perhaps much more. At least till now 24 lives and many more to come, I hope.

Married to a beautiful and loving wife for as many years as these “lives” I have got, is what makes me stronger in my conviction. My wife loves me for sure, but in all these 24 years, she has never fasted for me on Karva Chauth, and I have miraculously survived each one of them.

I still remember the Karva Chauth in the year I and my wife got together in wedded bliss, a few of our neighbourhood women of intellect had dropped in, just to invite my wife for the festival when a married woman fasts the entire day to ensure the long life of her husband.

After they left, my wife had asked me if she would like (or want) her to do it for me. “How is it a festival, if you are fasting? If we need to celebrate a festival, let us both have a feast together instead of fasting”, I had quipped.

I am surely not an expert in religious matters, but I personally do not like the fact that someone has to stay hungry all day to increase my life span. It’s not just threatening, but absolutely discriminatory to even imagine that some God will punish me or my wife, if she doesn’t keep a fast on a particular day.

It would be ridiculously patriarchal for me to believe that it is good to live long torturing my wife with hunger. I would rather prefer to die young. For those who believe that it is sacrifice and not torture, let me confront them on it. Sacrifice is directly related to pain and torture. I surely would not find it comforting to believe that my wife is suffering pain for her love for me.

It surely baffles me that various religions prescribe different fasts and rituals for the welfare of the husbands and the sons and the brothers, but sadly not even a single fast by the menfolk for the well-being of the wife, or the daughter or the sister.

It amuses me too when the elderly knowledgeable women in the neighbourhood reprimand my wife for not “loving” me enough. These same women, who are expected in their household to slog the whole day, cooking, cleaning, washing, serving food to the other members of the family while remaining hungry themselves, at times even without a sip of water. I would rather tell them to eat well and be energetic so that their piousness is used for the betterment of the family.

As I pen down these words with the sincerest of emotion, my loving wife is sitting next to me munching on a sandwich, occasionally looking at me, wondering what I am typing out on my laptop. I have scored a quarter century today, my 25th life on this day, which happens to be Karva Chauth.

“You need to burn a lot of calories than devour these sandwiches”, my wife wisecracked as she shared one bite with me. I looked at my midriff fat and nodded in consonance. Perhaps, I may be fasting today to celebrate my rebirth.

 

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