Just as the doors of the lift were about to close, they were opening again… for the 3rd time!!!obviously some last minute lobby-entrants had managed to get their fingers onto the button at the last possible moment to wrench the doors open… A loud round of sing-song hiiiiiiiiis and heellllloos followed… it was a group of good-looking, well-dressed, perfume-laden ladies from one of the other offices in the building.
After the hi’s and hello’s one of them asked… “yeh kya? trial ki mehendi hai kya?” Intrigued, I peeped over her shoulder, sure enough… the other lady had an intricate mehendi pattern on her palms. She replied… “nahin, aaj karva chauth hai na…”
Yes… I remembered reading about it in the morning TOI. The first one retorted… “yeh lo! Aur hum jam ke khaakar aaye!!” and all of them burst into laughter, I barely concealed a giggle myself.
As they waited for the lift to stop at their floor, I looked at the girl-with-the-mehendi closely… sneakers, black jeans, t-shirt, jacket, hair washed and let loose, a pretty made-up face with kohl-lined eyes, lipstick and a tiny bindi. I couldn’t help but muse… the images of the zari-bordered-saree-clad, heavily-adorned-with-jewellery, typical-bhaartiya-naari from the Hindi movies, celebrating karva-chauth flashed before my eyes… the picture of this girl was in stark contrast to that.
That was yesterday…cut to today… I was reading this write-up on karva-chauth by Rashmi Bansal on her blog-site YouthCurry… I remembered yesterday’s lift scene…that got me thinking…down South, we too have got our own version of the karva-chauth… the pooja that we do on Bheemana Amavasye… this is mainly for the Kannadigas, but I’m sure there’ll some equivalent celebration in the other states as well… but I must say, I don’t remember having fasted on that day any time! 😀
Though it is a poor cousin in terms of the actual rituals and the surrounding hype, the sentiments involved and intention behind doing the pooja is the same… prayer for the well-being and long life of the family. I wondered… are the reasons that Rashmi gives, for why ladies keep this vrath/ fast true in our case too?
I don’t know… I’ve never really thought about ‘why’ we do this pooja… it’s a festival just like scores of other festivals that dot our Hindu calendar.
Hmm… definitely food for thought…