Update 6th Oct 09:
Karva Chauth will be celebrated tomorrow i.e. 7th October(for 2009 click) with the women folk getting ready for their fast with ‘Sargi’ in the wee hours.
Inescapably, memories go back to childhood years when this tradition meant getting up at 4.00 in the morning to see my dear mother resplendent in her “gota-kinara’ dupatta with a big red bindi and hands lush with deep happy mehndi. Never has the memory of that color faded. Never has it been replicated by the million mehndi walis who designed my palms and feet, Some things I guess are inimitable..like the love of your mother.
My mother passed away last year. I miss her so much today. Her blessings , her instructions her joie de vivre especially on this day. There was nothing as important in her life besides my father. Every moment was as if a prayer in his devotion. This day was so special for her. Our dining table even at that early morning hour when we awoke for ‘sargi’ was laden with parathas, aloo gobi sabzi, mithai, fruits, namkeen, coconut, paan,curd. We all merrily gobbled away although it was she who was fasting.
Why are memories always so bright and luminiscent? Why does the present always seem so dull and lusterless in comparison? Was it just the presence of unconditional love that radiated from her every pore that has transformed a simple ceremony of the kind into something that seems to hold another meaning ..not just the ceremonial, but the truth that a mothers love is what life is all about.
I have inherited her love for this custom and love to follow it just as she had. Perhaps my way of paying homage to her while respecting the sentiment behind this custom..for the everlasting life and love of your husband. Women fast, paraying to ‘Gauri Mata’ just so that she may bless the husbands with longevity and good health.
I am happy but tears just dont seem to stop flowing . Its as if they have a will of their own. Mamas blessings were so important, her presence so comforting, her innocent abiding by this tradition sans questions or doubts so endearing. She just believed..that is it. Garlanding my father before she began the fast and at night wouldnt take a drop of water without touching his feet and taking his blessings. Papa reciprocated with as much love, laughter, humor and reverence .
He personally kept a vigil up for the moon and impatiently strolled on the terrace , waiting for a glimpse so that she could break her fast. The moon rarely ever made an early appearance much like the star of the evening. It almost has to be cajoled into bestowing us with its presence. So we kids were sent of to different areas of the house, terrace, balcony to herald its arrival, while he busied himself with personally preparing the ‘shikanjavi’ lemon water ,with which she would break her fast.
Karva Chauth doesnt seem the same for me now. Its horrible I know to color such an auspicious occasion with sadness. But there is this deep sorrow, this memory which only seems to get stronger, just keeps coming back with regularity..a picture so deeply embedded of my mother, embodying the ‘vrat/ in its true meaning, as if a ‘devi’ teaching us all what it means to love, and respect your husband, what the real connotation of Karva Chauth is.
My mother ever smiling in her decorated dupatta, with mehdi on her palms and face glowing with contentment , adoringly looking at my father, in no hurry to break her fast, is for me ‘ Karva Chauth”. Fervently hope I have been successful, even if a wee bit in inculcating the same in my daughter..Thank You Ma!!
PS: Perhaps my mothers and mother-in-laws blessings that help..(And yes my ma in law is absolutely divine) hubby dear keeps a fast with me..as strictly.. without water..Bless him!
And if interested in a True Love story? Read this..Karva Chauth is going to be celebrated tomorrow . Women folk will awaken in the wee hours. hopefully with husba