Santosh Nair, an IT professional and resident of Sector 23 observes a fast for his wife Vibha Thakur. He has been doing this for years out of creation and creating a sense of equality for the woman he loves the most.
For years, Karwa Chauth has been associated with women fasting for the long and happy life of their husbands. Breaking the mould, some men are fasting for the health and happiness of their wives.
Santosh shares that he started fasting on Karwa Chauth for Vibha even before his marriage after knowing that she was observing a fast for him. In his words, “Ours is love marriage. Before marriage when we were students, I got to know that she keeps fast for me on Karva Chauth. I realised that I should do that to express my love and respect and to let her that we’re equals. Since then, I have been fasting with her. We perform all rituals together and spend time with each other. It is a wonderful experience.”
Santosh is from Kerala and Vibha is from Bihar. He says that their marriage was an interfaith marriage. Creating equality on the occasion is also a message to society that men must and can express love and concern for their partners who observe fasts for them and shape their life.
Santosh says that in the beginning when his friends came to know about his fast, they were all making fun of it. But, with time, they accepted and appreciated him.
Sumit Vadhera is also an IT professional and a friend of Santosh in the same workplace. Sumit is inspired by his friend and is also observing a fast for his wife Ritika Vadhera this Karva Chauth. He is excited and waiting for the sighting of the moon to break his fast and perform the rituals for his wife. “This is the first time when I am keeping a fast for her. It is now 12 years of marriage and she has been doing Karva Chauth for me. Now, it is my turn to return the gesture and make her feel the same.”
Sumit is also nervous about the response from their friends and family members on his fast. He says that the occasion is traditionally considered a festival for women to keep fast for their husbands. Doing just the opposite is something like breaking a taboo. “This is a patriarchal society and I am ready to listen to crude remarks. I hope that society sees the spirit with which we are fasting and appreciate it.”
Vadhera also shared an interesting story about his honeymoon in Bali, Indonesia where he managed to break his wife’s fast on Karwa Chauth without the moon.
He shares, “It was Karva Chauth during our honeymoon period and my wife wanted to keep fast and perform all the rituals. We were in a resort located at a seashore. That night we could not watch the moon due to the weather and it became late around 10 pm. I wanted her to break the fast. Then I took her on a boat in the sea and ask her to see the moon which actually, was not a moon but a lighthouse. And she broke her fast assuming the lighthouse was the moon. This is a very memorable moment for me on Karva Chauth. This year I am starting my Karva Chauth fast with her and am very happy.”