BHOPAL: Time may have changed, but the excitement about Karwa Chauth among the wives of VIPs in the city has never worn down. From the first Karwa Chauth just after their wedding and the one they are celebrating on Thursday, they feel the same kind of thrill.
No matter how busy former CM Shivraj Singh Chouhan is, he always finds time to be with his wife Sadhna Singh on this day. He himself recites the Karwa Chauth Katha.
Some of them said Karwa Chauth is not about giving costly gifts, but is about creating an eternal bonding. The prominent citizens in Bhopal expressed the above opinions to Free Press on the eve of Karwa Chauth.
Moon seen from train: I celebrated Karwa Chauth for the first time in 1992. At that time Shivraj ji was an MP. I was very excited and had begun the preparations 2-3 days prior the day. I applied mehendi on hands and bought a new set of bangles. By the evening I was told that Shivraj ji was busy in a programme. But right before the appointed time, he was before me. In fact, in the past 27 years, there has never been an occasion when my ‘chaand’ was not by my side before the other ‘chaand’ rose from the horizon. But the Karwa Chauth I cannot forget was the one we celebrated on a train. We were living in Delhi at that time and were on our way to Bhilai by the Gondwana Express to attend a meeting. After I sighted the moon from the window of the train, I applied tilak on Shivraj ji’s forehead with vermillion from my vanity box and performed his aarti with a candle. He himself recites the story of Karwa Chauth Katha. It’s a matter of great joy.
-Sadhna Singh, wife of former chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan
Fasting for longer period: I kept my first Karwa Chauth fast in 2001. At that time, we were living at our ancestral home in the old city. It was located on a narrow lane. Diwali was round the corner and the house was being painted. Everything was in disarray. The place was surrounded by taller buildings and the moon was not visible even from the roof. I rode pillion with my brother-in-law and we went to an open place to see the moon. Alok ji followed us. Another Karwa Chauth I remember was of 2017. In that year, the festival fell on Tuesday and I had observed complete fast on Monday. So by Tuesday evening, I had been without a drop of water for the 48 hours. And before I could see the moon, it went behind the clouds! Ultimately, we saw the moon at 11 pm and then I broke my fast.
- Dolly Sharma, wife of Bhopal Mayor Alok Sharma
Same excitement: I knew precious little about the rituals on my first Karwa Chauth. And that was because I was not very interested in pujas. My in-laws and my husband guided me and I did what they asked me to. At that time we were living at a divisional headquarters where life was more relaxed. Now, we are busier. Of course, the excitement remains the same. Though Karwa Chauth is an optional holiday but sometimes I could avail of leave on that day. I don’t believe in wearing lots of ornaments and make-up or wearing heavy saris to celebrate the festival. Simple is beautiful.
- Seema Raizada, wife of former IAS officer Ajit Raizada
It is all about good bonding: I have been observing fast on Karwa Chauth for the past 19 years. I can hardly forget my first Karwa Chauth when my husband was in Delhi and I was in Bhopal. At that time, there was a computer programme that allowed you to see the face of the person at the other end, though you could not talk with him. I saw my hubby’s face on computer screen. And since he knew very well that I would have forgotten to bring a sieve along, he held a sieve before his face. I don’t think Karwa Chauth is about getting lavish gifts from your husband. I believe it is more about developing a good bonding, learning from your mistakes and spending quality time with each other.
-Rekha Samal, fashion designer, wife of a businessman Siddharth Samal