It was my first Karva Chauth. The day before the fast I went with other ladies of the family to buy all the things for the Sargi traditionally this includes all the things the mother-in-law gives her daughter-in-law, and is eaten on Karva Chauth day, before sunrise.
We bought all the things that signify marriage and are treasured by a married woman: glass bangles, sindhoor, bindis, a red ribbon, mehndi and nail polish. We spent the afternoon applying henna on our palms, which signifies marriage.
We bought pheni ( vermicelli) which is traditionally cooked in milk, and eaten on the morning of the fast. We bought some Indian sweets and fruits as well. We woke up at the crack of dawn, and assembled our thalis with 5 "white" things: an apple, pheni, sweet, almonds and some yogurt. After a small puja to Gowri ma to ensure a successful fast, we ate a bit of each of these. After which we tucked into hot parathas with cauliflower masala. Cups of tea and water were inevitable, at just the thought that one cannot have either all day long! All this was before the crack of dawn.
All day long we do not eat or even drink a sip of water. At 4pm we dressed up in our finery and collected in the courtyard for the puja. All the women sit in a circle and as the story is narrated, we pass the thalis around as the story unravels. After the puja was over, we congratulated each other and wished that this day would come over and over again for all married women
After that begins the long wait to sight the moon! Invariably on Karva Chauth day the moon rises late and you can be sure the sky will be overcast with clouds. Testing the wives perhaps? When the moon is sighted, one is supposed to only see it through a strainer, and not with the naked eye.
After sighting the moon, I threw bits of mathri
towards the moon along with water, praying to the moon, for the protection and well-being of my husband.
Having fasted all day, and having seen the moon, I took the first sip of water from the hands of my husband, after I touched his feet and sought his blessings. After which I could eat the traditional meal cooked on this day.
The world may have progressed and man may have landed on the moon, but Karva Chauth has a charm all its own. It brings together married women, as they spend a day away from their household chores. It revives and reiterates the bonds of marriage. It makes the day very special..