Karva chauth is a traditional festival in India where the wives fast for a whole day without consuming food or water, to pray for a long life for their (respective) husbands. The fast ends at night when the wife sees the moon. Husband gives her the first glass of water and first bite of food (and then she never stops ;-)). I’ve been witnessing this for last 24 years in India, but this was the first time I was about to see Karva Chauth being celebrated outside India, in Singapore.
After my dinner (my girlfriend thinks I was also fasting for her ;-)), I asked Sid to go for a walk when we saw our friends crowding in the park. Just for curiosity sake, we also went and joined the crowd. But what I saw there was nothing short of a shocking surprise, though a pleasant one. Priyani, the only married girl from our batch was there with all her make-up and traditional suit on, waiting for the moon to rise so that she could end her day-long fast. Honestly speaking, I saw her for the first time in a traditional salwar- kameez suit, but that’s not what I’m talking about.
The surprising part of the entire process was the use of technology to overcome the hindrances created by distance. Priyani’s husband is based in Delhi, but if Priyani wanted to continue to live on food, she must see the face of her husband and then the moon on the night of 7th October. That’s where a technology called Skype comes in. With Priyani on her husband’s screen and he on Priyani’s screen, the hurdles distance were overcome instantaneously. To give it a final touch, Priyani’s mother-in-law extended her right foot towards the web-cam and Priyani touched the screen to indicate touching her feet. J I could not resist but to call this “technology aur sanskriti ka abhootvpurna mishran” (an incredible mixture of Technology and Tradition.)