Karva Chauth is undoubtedly the most 'in' and celebrated festival in the northern part of India for all married ladies.
The euphoria doubles when it comes to newly-wed brides!

Decked up like it's an early Diwali.. the young married women flock open areas and terraces of their houses to catch a glimpse of the moon.
Picture
If moon was a person, then his name would be Osama bin Laden on this day.
The moon is simply the 'most-wanted'.

But the fetish for the moon isn't all religious.
Well, let's see what the religious angle is first :
There was a mythological princess called Veeravati who had observed a fast for her husband. The deal was that she would break her fast once the moon had risen.
She was fragile and couldn't stand the rigour of not even having water through the day.
Her brothers were worried and lit a fire on a nearby hill and tricked her into believing that it was moonlight.
The lady believed, broke her fast and almost instantly received the news of her husband's death.

Now, this is only a part of the story, but it's long enough to understand the essence.

Modern Day adaptation :
Veeravati's husband had died because she broke the fast.
So the ladies observe this fast once every year to ensure that their husbands have a long life.
Now, this is a little far away from the real truth simply for the reason that Veeravati was penalized for breaking her fast without seeing the moon.. it might not mean that her husband would live longer if she observed it truthfully.
But then anyways, every adaptation has a little bit of distortion.
So giving it the benefit of doubt, moving on to the modern story...

Today's scene in my apartment complex :
Young ladies and old ladies egged on by their younger counterparts flocked the terrace of the building.
All decked up, smelling of extreme perfume and a pooja thali in their hands, they had forgotten that today they are going to worship the same husband that they had beaten black and blue yesterday.. well almost :)

The husband, forgetful of the past and gleefully smiling stands in front of his wife.
She takes the sieve out(this is again the tradition, that the wife sees the moon first through the sieve and then sees her husband through it.. whatever it means).

She sees the moon, then her husband, thanks God for marking the moon's attendance quickly and then drinks water thereby breaking the fast.
Now the husband is not needed.
Run back home.. that's where the food is waiting at the table.
Ah, bliss...
Hog, hog, hog and then just remember there is a husband angle too...
"Honey, awwww... didn't you start the dinner still?"
Husband : "Honey, how could I? U didn't allow me to"

To save myself from all this melodrama, I took an oath 4 years ago.
I have been observing the Karva Chauth fast with my wife.
On this day, I too stop eating and drinking water.
Once a year, it's worth an effort.
For me, it's more about showing solidarity to her cause.
If she can fast for my well being, why should I not for hers?

Moon, though, is my favourite target this day.
Last year, it just didn't show up.. and I was burning with acidity with all gastric acids playing foosball in my stomach.
That was when I threatened it with dire consequences if it repeated the same thing next year.
Today, my gamble paid off.
The moon like a good boy after summer vacations in school, turned up right on the dot.
I heaved a sigh of relief.
She broke her fast with water and I broke my fast with Eno.
The antacid mildly placated the acidity.
Then came the hogging time.
I hogged for 30 mins. She too did, to a lesser degree though.

We then had dessert and were smiling ear to ear with fat bellies!

Ah, Karva Chauths are fun if you want to have fun..
A modern adaptation of an ancient tale may necessarily not be boring.
The best part about it is it ends with good food!

Happy Karva Chauth 2010 everyone!