This time KARVA CHAUTH has fallen on a Sunday, so no largesse of Government allowing holiday to women employees is involved. It is an important occasion . The preparations for it start quite a few days before , when women start getting for themselves new dresses and if possible , a new item of jewelry . A day before, the women apply mehendi on their palms and exchange Suhagi - bangles, ribbons, comb, looking glass, and sweets etc. -with neighbours and also relatives who happen to live nearby . Even the habitual late risers have to get up early in the morning to stuff themselves with some eatables called sargi as after that it is nirjal vrat for the whole day till the capricious Moon appears in the sky for them to look at through the atta strainer or the chhanani and offer their prayers with water.Before this, there is Vrat Pooja in the evening at the Muhurat time. The Ridge at Shimla becomes the most talked about hub of this activity.As a bachelor , for many years I have witnessed the scene at the Ridge, Shimla. The married women bedecked almost in bridal finery-shining dresses and jewelry- carrying thali full of flowers, sweets,lota filled with water and Dhoop Batti accompanied by their husbands come to see the moon and in public view , without any hesitation touch the feet of the husband- true to the Hindu tradition. The husband is the hero of the day or so is he made to feel and appear, unlike the other 364 days of the year when the wife calls the shots.This heroship also perhaps comes for a price in the shape of new clothes etc. In most of the households, the husband is used to the worship being offered albeit of a different kind .On my part , I avoid a tiff or verbal confrontation on this day .
Happy KARWA CHAUTH !