The Real Hunger Games: Karwa Chauth


The Karwachauth, or as Indian men call it, the socially acceptable emotional blackmail for jewellery day, is one of the most romantic things in Indian culture, and it is supposed to strengthen the bond between a husband and a wife because making the wife cranky and irritable due to hunger is the perfect way to achieve that. If a spouse’s hunger strike gave you a longer life, a lot of men would have proposed to Anna Hazare the moment they turned 21.

So, a wife has to stay hungry after 12 midnight, for almost an entire day, till the moon shows up, and then she has to see her husband’s face through a sieve before she can eat anything. How an eighteen-hour fast and an ugly face at the end of it not make you nauseous enough to reject any food in the world is beyond me.

It’s 2015, so the madness is not restricted to married women only. Now husbands have to stay hungry, may be to show respect to their spouses, may be to avoid the fast to be used as a weapon in any future arguments, but mostly because, you know bro, she says “Saala Mai akeli kyu bhukhi maru?”. Also, unmarried couples have also started to celebrate the day and stay hungry by making horrible excuses at home ranging from “diarrhoea ho rakha hai” to “I’m building appetite for the Barbecue Nation buffet later”. For girls, it can be called a practise for future, but for guys, karwachauth fast before marriage is mostly a last ditch effort to get laid, because if alcohol and gifts don’t work, hunger strike should! Because after all, ‘ye dil pyaar karna nahi jaanta, ye jaanta hai to sirf bhookh… jismKarwa chauth ki bhookh’.

Mostly, a karwa chauth fast is rewarded by a shopping trip and a romantic dinner. The shopping trip is brilliant, as wives can happily look to claim gifts beyond their husbands’ aukaat, because it doesn’t matter if you are 5 years old or a married woman, the most effective way to get something is to refuse to eat your meals. The husbands roam around the market and occasionally steal glances at the wine and beer shop, similar to how teenage boys steal glances at a La Senza outlet – You can’t resist but you just can’t afford to get caught.

Movies like K3G have tried very hard to make this festival about ‘Sargi’, sanctity of marriage, the value of family, but the truth is that jewellery and new clothes might always stay the most prominent motivation behind the day. After all, meethi maththi ka achaar daloge kya?

So, to all the married women and single men out there, on karwachauth, type ‘stay hungry, stay foolish’ on google search and click on I’m feeling lucky. And don’t forget to take a pantoprozole at 12am.

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About Ankit Sharma

Doctor and Drummer in making... Movie-buff since birth.
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