Bhopal (Madhya Pradesh): On Karwa Chauth, women keep away from food and water from dawn till the sighting of moon in the hope that it would persuade the gods to confer long lives on their husbands. But some men in the city find this one-sided. They say that for them, their wives’ life is as important and so they, too fast along with the better halves. They told the Free Press why they do it and since when they are doing it.
‘Saved my life’
Married for 33 years, I have been fasting on Karva Chauth for 12 years along with my wife Manju. Actually I met with an accident in 2009 and I was very serious. Doctors said that there was very little chance of survival. My wife fasted on Karva Chauth for my long life and I think I was saved just because of her prayers. Then I also realised that I should keep fast for her long life. After getting recovered, I also started keeping fast. Initially, my wife, relatives and friends were against my decision but I was determined. In fact, many men started keeping fast for their wives inspired by me. We not only keep fast and worship but also enjoy the day by dancing together. My daughters click photographs and make videos, too. It feels good from inside to do something for my wife.
- Mahesh Jha, businessman
‘Kutchh to log kahenge’
I think nothing should be one-sided whether it is love or anything. Kam se kam khilaf nahi jaate to sath to de hi sakte hain… (If my wife Uma can fast for my long life then why I should not fast for her). This thing clicked in my mind and I started keeping fast about 10 years back. We have been married for 28 years now. Initially, my wife didn’t want me to keep fast. My relatives and friends used to mock me and called me ‘Joru ka Ghulam,’ but it hardly matters to me. It is part of life. There is a song ‘Kutchh to log kahenge…’. Why should I be scared if I am right? I do what my heart says.
-Jagdish Raikwar, government employ
‘Will break fast on video call’
I didn’t want my wife Shweta to fast for me. I felt very bad to see her hungry. In fact, I tried my best to stop her, but I failed. Then I decided to keep fast for her. We have been married for 16 years now but we have been keeping fast to date and then it has become a ritual. Initially I used to feel hungry but there is no option except this. We follow all the rituals and then break fast after seeing the moon. This Karva Chauth I am in Indore as my father has undergone by-pass surgery. So maybe, we will have to break fast on a video call. This will happen for the first time.
- Rohit Pandey, businessman