Today when ladies all over North India in particular, and India in general were waiting for the moon to make their appearance so that they could break their fast, would be aware that today’s full moon is 12 larger than the moon that appeared during the full moon days during the current year. May be, the occasion demanded it, so god has also been willing. But the technical reason for the larger size of moon is the fact that the moon is near to the perigee, and at this point of time it is called as Harvest moon, and before the advent of electricity farmers used to rely on this moon to harvest the produce. Sheer coincidence, or is it the fact that when husbands used to harvest the produce during the night, the wives used to pray for their longevity?
Well, whatever be the genesis of this festival, one thing is for sure, Hindi cinema has contributed to its popularity in a really big way. It was for the first time that karva chauth was shown as a festival in Dasari Narayan Rao’s Maang Bharo Sajna, way back in the early seventies. But in the real sense of terms, it caught the imagination of the nation with Yash Raj films, in particular Dil Waale Dulhania Le Jaenge. Till that time the young girls did not used to observe the fast but a Simran inspired them to start doing it for their boy friend and the future husband and that also started the tradition of romantic husbands keeping the fast for their wives or girl friends as well. Question of gender equality after all. Baghbaan took it to a really different level and from there onwards it really caught the imagination of the country, and even those who did not have this fast in their cultural moorings, or in their ritual set up started doing it in their own way. Then came Biwi Ho To Aisi, which was a punch below the belt for two timing husbands.
Questions may always be raised as to how even the so-called progressive ladies observe the fast, falling into the clutches of tradition. But the moot point is, at the end of the day, it is a matter of faith. Whatever one feels like doing she can do it, the public positions be damned.