Tomorrow is Karva Chauth and last year on this occasion I wrote a post "Karva Chauth - A Modern View On The Ancient Ritual " analyzing the rituals followed, the tale or tales behind the festival, the scope and myths attached to it. The post was liked by many of my dear blogger pals and was also selected and picked up by AsiaMag.
This year I have another question to ask. Why is that only women fast in Indian society? Why is it defined that way that women - be it the mother, the wife, the wife to be fasts for the health and life of her son, or husband or husband to be?
|A woman looks at the moon through a strainer on Karva Chauth|
I really don't want the male reader to think that I have a problem with women fasting for the men? But why is it that it has been preached by our religion, by our customs, through the folk lore, the myths that it's the woman who must abstain from food in order to be pious enough to pray for the man/men in her life?
|Vrat Savitri Puja performed by women|
Not just for the husband , but Indian culture has many fasts for the well being of one's son or sons. Be it the Ahoi Mata fast or Ahoi Ashthami in which the mother fasts for the well being of her sons or the Chath Pooja where the mother or the elder woman of the family fasts and performs elaborate fasting, pooja etc for the welfare of the family. (However, I have many acquaintance from Bihar and UP and they say that although it's for the family, but it's mostly for the son and so the mother fasts for the son.)
|Ahoi Mata picture in front of which mothers perform puja|
What is it? Abstinence prescribed only for women for the sake of the males of the family? The energy of piousness of the woman to be used for the betterment of the family? Just what do the scriptures and the rituals mean when they say WOMEN SHOULD FAST FOR MEN?
Or was it because earlier men worked and women stayed at home (and that is taken as no work!), so they could get into all this stuff to keep themselves busy? It sounds absurd to me.
Coming back to the most famous fast for married women - Karva Chauth. Have you, the men reading the post, ever fasted for your woman? At least skipped one meal on this day for her?
Or let me ask the women, have you ever asked or expected your husband to reciprocate your gesture? Or have you slogged all day at office and home, helping your children with their homework and prepared dinner for the whole family? Did this question ever cross your mind that love needs to be reciprocated by your partner, so why does he also not join you in fasting for a day?
Let me know what do you think about it? Feel free to share about any other ritual related to the post.
PS: I remember a course mate of mine ( with whom I attended a training and the whole class got discussing this issue passionately) who fasts every year for his wife since then and calls or smses me to tell this to me every year!