Once upon a time, on Karwa Chauth, observed mostly in northern India, only women kept a fast from sunrise to moonrise for their husband’s long life and well-being. Technically speaking though, the life expectancy of Indian men, in that case, should top the charts. (No brickbats please) As of now, the trend or tradition is fast catching up among young urban men too, who do not believe it’s a compulsion for their wife to observe a Karwa Chauth fast, nor do they mind observing the fast for and with their better half.
Different men have different reasons for why they want to fast for their wife. Among the single men, who consider it’s okay to fast for their wife, ‘equality in marriage’ takes precedence over everything else as a prospective reason. Other reasons we heard of are: to challenge themselves, to show gratitude to their partner who fasts, and in some cases, a celebration of love, while for some, believe it or not, a barter! You fast for me, I fast for you, fair enough! Some guys say that their wives/fiances/girl friends fast for them out of tradition, while they fast to make them feel good.
Many women, however, choose not to fast for their guys and the reasons are many. One such young lady says that she doesn’t fast for her husband and in no way is her love for him any less than the ones fasting. Another one vehemently says that fasting makes her feel “empowered”. “If his welfare and well being is linked in any way to me fasting for him, I definitely have the power!” Another young girl says, “He’d better fast for me if I fast for him. Is my life any less important than his?!!” Point noted, ma’am!
Some men, we learnt, are also discouraging women from fasting. They disagree to follow anything that lacks rationality, doesn’t fit into their updated conditioning or requires fear of a super-natural power. Love us deeply, express clearly, respect truly and do so daily. The boys are also asking to change the age old one sided traditions redundant. “It’s kadwa (bitter) chauth, if you ask me. Karwa chauth in the morning turns into kadwa chauth by the evening, because she’s irritable with hunger pangs. You don’t fast for me and don’t expect me to do it for you either, it’s simple as that”, says one such vocal fellow.
Whether you are fasting for your guy or you both are fasting for each other, we reckon that the underlying sentiment is mutual love. Happy Karwachauth, peeps!