Karwa Chauth – More than 90% of Indian or Hindu women celebrated this event on October 26th. They wake up before sunrise, pray, eat and then spend the rest of the day fasting and praying. They pray and fast for the longevity, prosperity and well-being life for their husbands or husbands-to-be. The fast is opened when the moon comes out, they look at the moon, say another prayer and then turn to their husbands or to-be’s and say a prayer for him. The husband feeds them and gives them water to open their fasts. She bends in front of him and touches his feet and then takes that same hand and rubs it over her head as a blessing. She has just given him the status of her Everything (after her Lord). He gives her a small gift to show his appreciation and kisses her forehead. She is now allowed to eat and continue on with life as usual.
The origin of this fast initially started in ancient times. In India back then, girls were married at a very young age. Generally, once married they would move to another town or village far away from their parents and siblings. In this new town they would have or know no one other than their in-laws and husband. So, if they ever were to incur hard-times or disputes with their in-laws or husband, they would have no one to talk to or ask for help.
Thus, Karwa Chauth was started for that main purpose. Once a girl was to be married off, she would befriend someone from that town. This female would then become her best-friend or sister for life. They would be there for each other through thick or thin.
The fasting and praying for their husband’s prosperity and long-life came during more recent times. However, this part of the festivity may have been added through mythical tales. Of course, the husband would also have some significance during this festivity as the union of the two sisters started off due to the marriage. However, it is secondary to the initial reason for celebrating.
Yes today, women will still get together on this day and pray together. They dress up like brides and fast all day, then open their fasts together. However, the true significance of this festival has been lost by modern times.
After many years, I kept this fast for someone. He is not my husband. Nor do I foresee him becoming it in the near future. However, I kept my fast for him. He stood in front of me last night as I looked at the moon and then turned to him. He fed me my first sip of water for the day and first piece of food. I bent down and touched his feet and took that as a blessing. Generally, Muslim women do not believe in bending in front of anyone. Humans are all equal and as per Islam, you should only bend or ask for blessings from Allah. I didn’t think I would bend in front of anyone either nor have I since I reverted to Islam. I don’t know what happened yesterday. Maybe the Hindu in me came out. Maybe I gave him the status of my everything yesterday and thought that when I bent down I was doing the right thing. I don’t know. Maybe I have sinned or maybe this is how it was supposed to be.
Anyway, I have only known him for a month, yesterday was a month to be exact. The first time we kissed was on 10-10-10. I guess that was the official date of the beginning of our relationship or sense of relationship which I think we’re in. I have since fallen in love with him and have expressed these feelings towards him. I don’t know if this love is the type of love/friendship that I referred to during my post on Marriage vs. Life. Or if it is a different type of love. I don’t know what it is at this point. But I did it. I fasted for his prosperity, for the longevity of his life, for his well-being and for his happiness.
I had a panic attack half-way through day thinking about what the heck I’m doing. Why I’m fasting for someone I barely know. Why I’m acting as if I’ve known him for years and this is what should be happening or this is where our relationship is going. I’m still a little shocked that I did it. Of course, he was perfect. He observed my fast. He observed the effort I put into my fast and then into getting dressed up like a bride. I’m sure he was a little shocked and confused too.
I just don’t understand it though. When you look at the days numerically, they seem so little. It was just 30 days ago that I first was introduced to him. But even the first time I spoke to him on the phone that day, there was no hesitation, there was no weird introduction. We talked as if we had known each other for years. We just clicked. Since that day, we’ve just been clicking. It almost feels like it was supposed to happen this way.
He was my best-friend/roommate’s/cousin’s husband-to-be’s roommate/friend and I guess, best-man at the wedding and I was my roommate’s unofficial maid-of-honor. He brought Nit to the wedding and did all the best-man’s duties as I did for Manu. We ended up speaking half-way on the drive to the temple and just talked as if we had known each other. There was a frankness and comfortable atmosphere the whole time. Weird!
The days after the wedding, the four of us hung out and me and “him” got close. We met up a few times without the newly wed couple and just talked for hours. Everything is just falling into place. Then yesterday came. Well, the night before yesterday, the discussion of this festival and fast came up between me and him and I casually asked him if I could keep this fast for him and he was probably uncomfortable but casually gave me permission to do so. So, I kept the fast for him.
I don’t think until that moment past when he broke my fast for me did I realize how seriously I was invested and involved in him and whatever we have between us. I don’t know if he’s realized it or not. The whole ordeal began as me jokingly asking him a question and him jokingly saying, “yes.” But then when yesterday came, I stayed up until 4am that morning, ate, secretly in my heart said a prayer for him and then went to bed. I then awoke that morning at a normal hour and began to prepare for the past. I spent most of the day running around trying to find that perfect outfit which I wanted him to see me in. I spent a fortune in getting it made and a lot of stress of making sure it was ready before he came over. I got a pedicure, a manicure, waxing and then came home and gave myself a facial. I showered and dolled myself up. With all my flaws, I looked absolutely stunning and perfect yesterday.
When he came over, he complimented my illusion of perfection. He put his arms around me and told me I looked beautiful. I was all butterflies, rosy blushing cheeks and flutters. Then it came time to open my fast and until that moment I think we both thought it was a joke. But then I called him over and told him I couldn’t open my fast without him being in front of me as I kept it for him. And he jokingly said to our friends, “I think I’m going to have to marry her now after this.” I ignored the comment and did the ritual. I finished it and as I was just about to turn away I bent down and touched his feet and everything became so real and serious for me at that very moment.
Because of my belief in Islam, I never thought I’d bend in front of anyone. I never thought I’d give someone that significance in my life. But it just happened and while I was bending to touch his feet, everything and everyone disappeared. It was just me and him and the significance of me touching his feet.
I know it’s too soon. I know it’s only been 30 days. I know I barely know him. I just can’t explain it all. I don’t want to analyze it. I don’t want to think about what it all means. It’s all happening for a reason. Everything happens for a reason. So, is this. Can’t we just leave it at that? Why complicate everything by thinking so much into it?
Hello & Happy Holidays Sweet World!
Christmas Eve, Christmas Eve, Christmas Eve?
- to Christians: the day or I should say, “celebrated as the day” “the Son of God” was born aka Jesus Christ
- to Children: this day is associated with “Father Christmas” aka Santa Claus bringing them presents
- to General Laborors & Working Men & Women: a few days off work to enjoy with family & friends
- to Retailers: months leading up to this day to exploit the “season & belief”
- to me: let’s talk this through…
To me Christmas has so many meanings. Coming from where I do and growing up where I have has left me a bit confused about the “Holy-Commercialized” day!
My religion does not believe in “the Son of God”. Therefore, one thing is clear, I do not celebrate this day due to respect or expectations of my beliefs. (Religion & me 101 – coming soon!)
Thus, I have a pine tree decorated with beautiful lights and ornaments and topped with a big shining star. My best half (yes, I refer to him as my best half but we’ll call him “Vie”) and I have decorated “stockings”, each making one for the other and symbolizing the love we have for one another. I will cook a turkey with stuffing, mashed potatoes and some sort of veggies. I will set the table to co-ordinate with my theme this year. There will be a non-traditional dessert and a bottle of vine to set the evening. This year, as everyone gets hit with the “big recession”, we too have decided to not purchase major gifts and will only be stuffing our stockings.
So! What does all this mean to me? It means that I am spending a few days at home, relaxing off work. I am with my Vie. We are sharing a delicious dinner, memorable laughs and those moments that so many of us forget to cherish.
To me: Christmas represents a time to enjoy what I so often forget I am grateful to have.
I don’t know what Christmas means to you. Whether you’re in a church worshiping or wrapped up in all the commercialization of this holiday season. Whatever it means; just remember to take 5 minutes out of your day, look around you, give it a smile, and say thank you to whatever existence you believe brought you here.
And hey, some of us might not have a big family feast, some of us might not even have a turkey or loved one to share this time with; but just know this, there is someone, somewhere out of the 6.69 billion people who has it worst than you.
Thought of the day: Don’t dwell on what you don’t have; smile at what you do!
Happy Holiday and Cheers to you!