Karwa Chauth Etc.

I don't know whether I'm tipping far over the side of bra-burning feminism but Karwa Chauth has always made me see red, for a variety of reasons. Firstly, I find it completely senseless that anyone should believe that God would grant a longer life to someone based on whether his wife fasted for him on one day in a year. I have always believed that God doesn't make bargains of that sort. In any case, if that were true, people whose wives fasted would never die, or at least not before the ripe old age of 80 or so, right? So any man who dies young - do we just assume that their wives didn't keep the fast or at least not with the requisite spirit?

Secondly, if wives are supposed to be so fired up about preserving their husband's life, how about a little quid pro quo? Where is the fast that husbands are supposed to keep to ensure a long life for their wives?

I always get pissed at this 'festival', as does my husband, and my mother and sister take the opposite side and argue that anyone who wants to keep the fast is justified in doing so. Not that either of them do ( we're South indian and this thing does not exist for us). What really riles me is the countless women who keep the fast 'because it is the done thing', not out of a sincere belief in its potency. I guess, being the liberal that I am, I should shrug and say chacun a son gout - to each his own.

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