Yes, I admit — like I’ve admitted in this space many times in the past — I’m a true blue Malayali, and happily so. I love the yummy “Mallu food” as it is popularly called, I love Malayalam movies and songs, I love going to Kerala, and I love hearing someone talk in Malayalam around me when I’m out of Kerala. I love my Onams and my Vishus and my Thrissur Poorams and my Sree Padmanbha’s Arattu and my Pongalas (well, that one, not so much).
So, it should be no surprise to any of you that I had no idea about Karwa Chauth whatsoever. Well, that’s not entirely true. I’ve seen it in Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam, Ishq Vishk and DDLJ (in that order), and never thought much of it. Those days, I was a happy, single girl and I dismissed it as something only married ‘aunties’ do (besides love-struck girls in Hindi movies). Plus, it was a North Indian ‘thing’ I had no clue about. Not to mention the fact that where Hindi is concerned, I’m like “bhaiyon aur behno…chor machaaye shor. chorine pidikal hamara kaam hey…hoom…hai”! All I knew was that Karwa Chauth had something to do with going hungry all day, cribbing about irresponsible husbands/husbands-to-be and staying up on the terrace all night, looking at the full moon like it is a blue-moon night 😀 Why, in fact, it was quite recently that I realised the word is actually Karwa Chauth and not Karwa Chatth — what with everyone doing something on the terrace and all that.
So well, when a friend said she was looking for a young married girl to share her views on Karwa Chauth and identified me as a prospect, I almost gagged. Had she not heard her sister’s favourite phrase “Know your audience, honey!” enough times already!? That’s when she rephrased the request and made it sound like it could also be a “fresher’s view” on Karwa Chauth. Had nothing to counter that one!
So here I am. Writing an authentic piece on ‘My first ever Karwa Chauth’. Discovering this tradition and the romance associated with it. Using technology to walk me through the rituals and some amazing mehendi designs. And likely to actually celebrate it on a 136.6 x 69.8 x 7.9 mm screen, where I will be able to stalk the moon to the hour, minute and second of its rising, look at it through a 13MP camera that magically transforms into a “chalni“, and snoop around on the Moon for a shiny gift that is ‘Pure Jewellery. Pure Joy’. However, one must hope the husband volunteers to be the next Neil Armstrong because he will need to first find a spot on the Moon to dig one tiny hole to bury the gift along with a love note — written or spoken!
Right. Before you think I’ve moved from fluent Malayalam to broken Hindi to absolute Greek and Latin, let me clarify what I’m talking about.
Imagine Karwa Chauth. Reminisce on the family get-togethers. Go daft about the glittery attires and the mehendi-laden hands. Smack your lips at the thought of some awesome food at the end of a long hungry day! Agonise over how today’s busy schedules leave you with no time to follow rituals. Pity the daughters who will perhaps never know the joy that Karwa Chauth was in your younger days. Lean on the pile of nostalgia, and let out a long, deep sigh. Then, pull out your mobile phone.
Relive tradition through an app. Celebrate it on an Android. Gaze at the Moon, and then at your husband, through a megapixel sieve! Imagine that the Moon holds a treasure in one of its many craters, and your husband has the secret key to the treasure chest. Enjoy treasure hunts where he sends you hints through SMS. Romance him till he can no longer hold it from you. Walk with him, hand in hand, excavating the Moon till you find your special gift.
Thank Tanishq. For giving you the joy of having Karwa Chauth in the palms of your hands through this app!
Thought I was just a ‘sample’ to review an app, I enjoyed the experience. I learnt that the sieve is called a chalni. I am enlightened to the fact that the Sasumaa is this amazing person who will send you an elaborate pre-dawn Karwa Chauth meal, and top it with gifts! I realise that fasting from the break of dawn, without eating anything till dusk falls, has some advantages — like not having to do any household work 😀 That ‘baya’ is a gift given to your mother-in-law or sister-in-law by you or your mother, and that it’s perhaps the ONLY day when the wives (at least by this country’s tradition) get to eat before their husbands, and that too, by being fed by them! 😀 However, the best part for most would be the Tanishq gallery the app gives access to, if you’re a jewellery lover!