In India, many wives observe the Karwa Chauth. They fast the entire day – from sunrise to moonrise. It’s a very strict fast – not even water is allowed through the day. Karwa Chauth is observed once a year and is believed to ensure the long life and continued good health for the husband.
For the Karwa Chauth process, the wife makes up a thali (plate) of brass or silver in which she puts a small diya (candle), a glass of water which her husband will make her drink from, when she breaks the fast, a few dried fruits for the mom-in-law, sindhur (the red powder Indian brides apply in their hair) and some sweet which she will feed to the man of the house.
In the evening after a small Pooja ceremony, the wife looks through a sieve at the moon, holding the loaded thali. Then her husband makes her drink the water, and she feeds him the sweet.
Puja is the ever-dutiful wife and every year she does the Karwa Chauth for her hubby Kapil. She definitely wants her husband to have a long life and great health. She is also quite a foodie and enjoys her meals. She must really love Kapil to go through this fairly torturous process (Thank God it’s just once a year!) very year.
Once the evening ceremony is done, the hunt for the moon begins. She can’t end her fast without looking at the moon remember? And moonrise in London at this time of the year is fairly late in the night. Fasting for the husband is one thing, but waiting for the moon to rise and hoping that there are no clouds so you can see it is something else completely – especially if you have hot sambhar rice with ghee, dosas and chutney waiting to be gobbled for dinner. And you happen to be Puja the foodie.
This year, the evening Pooja was over by 5:00 pm. The sun was shining brilliantly, birdies were tweeting merrily, the grass was green and the sky was blue… No sign of the night or the moon. Puja was getting increasingly impatient, bordering on irritable at the thought of having to wait a few hours for the moon to show up.
That’s when I got this brilliant idea!
I called Salman who is in India on a what’s app video call. Told him to go outside and find the moon, and point the camera to it. Puja happily looked at the moon on my phone through Salman’s phone, fed the sweet to Kapil and gulped down the water… and made a beeline for the dinner table and let out a happy sigh…
Bring on the dosas!!
Wishing everyone a very long, happy, healthy and prosperous life.