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I'm Fasting for my Husband!

My mother-in-law did me a great favour this evening. She sent my eldest son to remind me that tomorrow (well, it's today now, or afterwards, as you read this) is Karwa Chauth. That means a special day when many pious Hindu women fast for their husband's long long life and prosperity.

Well, I'm not a Hindu woman, but I am very much married to a Hindu man. Obviously I would like to do the right thing by him! So I shall fast for my beloved, that God will bless him and give him a long and prosperous life, good health et cetera. I'd love to know if he would ever do the same for me, but I guess he would if he had to.

If I do a Christian fast, I usually stick to bread and water. Hindu fasts are much more liberal. You can take milk, nuts and sweets. But no salt for some reason. Many Hindu ladies, like my sister-in-law Tapasya, touch nothing at all. Not even water! I'd never do that. Suppose I got ill and died of dehydration? God forbid. So I'll eat whatever I can eat. And break my fast at the appearance of the moon.

For some unknown reason, the moon usually plays truant on Karwa Chauth. We send the kids out to tell us when it appears, and it doesn't appear for ages. We suhaagins (that means 'married ladies' for those who don't know Hindi!) are wilting by the minute, and not one bite can we take. The kids go up on the terrace, we tune in to moonwatch on the television, we shout out to the neighbours 'chand kahan hai?' (where is the moon?). One can get quite fed up with that mischievous planet. Saris are de rigeur for Karwa Chauth. It is the one day of the year I will always be found in the sari. At least in the evening.

Before breaking the fast there are prayers. There is a little difficulty for me. I'm an out and out Jesus devotee. I respect all religions, but for me, Jesus Christ is the Way, the Truth and the Life. So when the ladies are worshipping, I bring out my large crucifix and pray before that. I hope no one minds it. If they do, they've never said. God bless them!

There's nothing like the first bite of food on the evening of Karva Chauth. Wonderful! Yash tries to get home early that evening. By early, I mean around 8 o'clock. He tells me that the local shops are all closed in our vicinity after that time. Why? Because the men all have to get home to present their feet, he tells me! Apparently, many women prostrate themselves at their husband's feet at that time. Before they eat their food! Well, I have nothing to say about that! Nothing at all! If that's what they do, then that's what they do!

Karwa Chauth customs vary from community to community among the Hindus. In some communities, the men present their wives with saris and jewellery for doing the fast for them. Unfortunately, Yash's community doesn't observe that particular custom! Well, they had better start now. They've had it far too good for too long if you ask me! What a bargain they are getting. The missus fasting for their long life and prosperity, and they soaking up all the benefits and taking us for granted.

This will be my fifteenth Karwa Chauth. So Yash owes me fifteen saris. I'm waiting!!!!!!!


  1. You have quite a complicated marriage.

  2. Oh I think it's about time you got your saris!

    I seem to miss out on traditional gifts. I should have had gold from Mr Ayak's family when we got married, but we had a quiet wedding without relatives, so it wasn't forthcoming. And we have waited until now, 11 years, to be given a house by my father-in-law...better late than never. Although with gifts comes control (particularly by the head of the family) so I guess we've had 11 years of "freedom".

  3. Good luck with this!

  4. hahahahha, am rolling on the floor with this, you are more of a devout to the religion and to the marriage than I can ever be..hats off, i could never ever fast for anybody, forget husband!! Hmm so is he going to help uou take your first morsel of food? is it going to be on the terrace, with the beaming moon..okk the romanticism of this festival appeals to me, have to agree!!

  5. Fasting I could deal with, no problem, but in your situation I would find it difficult and see it as a one way thing. It is easy for me to say since Jack had no siblings and both his parents died before we met. Jack was easy going and allowed me to make my own rules.

  6. Now that is devotion - both to your husband and to your faith. Gosh, poor old Tom - it's a good job he doesn't have to rely on me fasting!

  7. Gaelikaa,Good luck with the fast.

    I hope you & the family gets to go visit Irland.Perhaps your kids could send grandma an e-mail,letting her know how much they'd love to come see their mom's country & meet her side of the family and promise to be good.Grandma may just relent.Good luck with that.If all fails a flat/home for a month...maybe 5oo Euros.

  8. The moon playing truant is a problem right now as it was in Mumbai many years ago when the monsoon is very active. I used to drive my mother all over the coast trying to find a break in the clouds so that she could sight the moon. My wife never kept the fast (vrath) but once in Delhi, I had arranged for a party in the evening of Karva Chaut and she was very busy getting everything ready. Our neighbors were scandalized with what was going on till she told them, that she was doing it for her husband!

  9. we do not have karwa chowth but something similar exists ...i also do not get anything ...i wish in all religions across the globe where ever there is a custom to give gifts to wife should be adapted in our custom!!

  10. Reading this post brings up so many emotions for me. I'm a new wife and it is so hard to adapt to one another and even though we are Christian our families are so different. This will be a post soon cause it's been on my heart.


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