New Delhi [India], November 4 (ANI): After celebrating Karva Chauth through letters for initial years of their marriage, Indira Dikshit, wife of retired Subedar Major Rishi Kumar Dikshit, expressed her excitement to mark the day in a traditional manner this year while her husband has his own way of making the day special for his better half.
Karva Chauth is a festival of love, the companionship of the two, where the wife keeps a day-long fast for the longevity of her husband.
As soon as, two are married, they start celebrating the occasion.
Remembering their first Karva Chauth celebration, Indira Dikshit from Lucknow and Neelam Bains from New Delhi unfolded their stories of the occasion where one had to celebrate in the absence of her husband while the other could not celebrate even in the presence of her husband.
Speaking to ANI, 55-year-old Indira told that she had celebrated her first Karva Chauth in the absence of her husband, who was posted in Jhansi, Uttar Pradesh.
"In the initial years of our marriage, my husband was posted away from home," said Indira. To this, retired Sub Maj Dikshit added, "Back in 1984, I was posted at Talbehat and we did not have the facility to do video calling or send pictures like today. We had to send letters to each other to talk and this is how I got to know how my wife celebrated her first Karva Chauth."
The day holds such significance in Indira's life that she has not missed the fasting and celebration in 36 years of her marriage. Whereas, 60-year-old Neelam could not celebrate her first Karva Chauth after marrying Joginder Bains as her sister-in-law was severely ill. Following this, she has been fasting for her husband without fail.
"It brings me pleasure to hold fast and pray for the long life of my husband. During my first Karva Chauth, my sister-in-law was severely ill, so I could not celebrate the occasion but after that, I have been consistently holding fast," said Nirmala.
Now that Nirmala has two sons and two daughters-in-law, every year one of her daughters-in-law gift her either a new suit or saree.
On being asked about gifting something, Nirmala's husband, Joginder jokingly said, "People have picked up the idea of gifting something to their partner from Bollywood. They have spoiled the younger generation."
"And whatever I have earned till date, it is all Nirmala's," Joginder added to his response.
However, Rishi shares a different opinion on this. On every Karva Chauth, he makes sure that he surprises his wife with a special gift. In fact, he has an expedition story for the same.
"In 2018, he surprised me with a beautiful piece of jewellery," remembered Indira.
On being asked about this year's gift, Rishi said, "I never plan anything beforehand. I go out to the market on Karva Chauth searching for a gift and get whatever I like."
This year, the celebrations in both the houses will be low key due to coronavirus but all the traditions will be followed.
"Every year, some of my relatives come to our house to celebrate the festival. We decorate the terrace, where we perform the rituals. After this, we prepare the supper together and have it together," said Indira adding, "But this year, I will be celebrating it with another relative who stays nearby while others would not be able to come here."
After a day-long fast, Dikshits prepare a special meal on this special occasion. "In this special meal, we make 'phara' made of wheat flour, dal and topped with ghee, alongside kadhi, rice and Indian flatbread as a tradition. But, sometimes we do cook other food items as well," Indira said.
Lastly, Rishi highlighted the importance of this day and said, "Food and gifts might be a way to celebrate the occasion but what's more important is the feeling with which one participates. It might have started in a Patriarchal society, for he is considered to be bread earner of the house. However, in a true sense, it is the woman's determination, respect towards the bond that she shares with her husband as she continues to pray for its longevity on Karva Chauth." (ANI)