Happy Karwa Chauth!
Happy Karva Chauth to all our dear female friends who observe the fast. May God bless you for fasting whole day for the health and long life of your partners, and grant you all your wishes!
Karva Chauth is one of the biggest traditional Hindu festivals celebrated mostly in Northern India by married women. Thanks to the influence of Bollywood films, the festival is now expanded to include the unmarried also for their lovers and the celebration is no longer restricted to women in Northern states but beyond their borders to wherever there are Bollywood fans. The ritual has also remarkably changed – from being strictly religious with fasting ladies collectively listening to Karva Chauth Katha in the evening and ending the fast on sighting the moon, offering food and prayer to the moon – to very near to a version of Valentine's Day for the hitched, for its full of romantic gestures like going dinner dates, gifting exquisite presents and even getting love tattoos. From being an occasion for married women to pray for their husbands' long lives to becoming a hugely popular trend that married and now unmarried women follow across the country, Bollywood has added in abundance to the beauty and glamor of the day. And taken it from being just a day of suffering for women to a day that truly marks the growing love and bond between partners - a special day for women to dress up, shop, celebrate and enjoy.
Bollywood practices this festival and ardently goes full 360 degree with showcasing it on the silver screen. Be it in films or real life, stars have celebrated this festival in full grandeur. Right from Kajol, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, Juhi Chawla, Sushmita Sen, Amrita Rao to Kareena Kapoor have kept the day long fast to pray for the long life of their on-screen or real life husbands and boy friends. Their bright and colorful dresses accessorized with heavy jewlery and make-up have added to the festivities of Karva Chauth. While the fast is ideally kept by women, men sometimes make it special when they shower their better-halves with gifts and even fast all day as well.
Though we have seen Karva Chauth scenes in a few recent movies, one of the earliest films to have a Karva Chauth sequence was 'Maang Bharo Sajna'. Released in the 1980's, this movie starred jeetendra, Rekha and Maushmi Chatterjee. 'Biwi Ho To Aisi' is another movie that featured the festival in one of its scenes. However, the first film that showed a larger than life 'Karva Chauth' ceremony was Suraj Barjaty'a 'Hum Aapke Hain Kaun'. Suraj Barjatya, known to make family dramas, showcased Karva Chauth ostentatiously with the participation of the entire family. And that is what made it special – the entire family participating in the popular song 'Maye Ne Maye'.
Yash Raj Films' 'Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge' (DDLJ) Karva Chauth probably marked the turning point of 'Karva Chauth' celebrations. The beautiful film made such an impact that people from all over India began to celebrate the festival. 'Karva Chauth' became the ultimate fast and the ultimate symbol of true love. And they even have the lovely traditional song 'Ghar Aaja Pardesi' when all the women come together with diyas and there is beautiful reflection of the moon in the water scene shot so beautifully. The movie made girls all over the country just totally fall in love with the idea of fasting for love.
Films like DDLJ and Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam have also started the trend of lovers fasting for each other even when not married. Aishwarya Rai imagined Salamn Khan in the song 'Chand Chupa Aanchal Mein...' and not her reel-husband Ajay Devgan, while Kajol created an incident in which it wasSSRK who fed her the first sip of water while breaking the fast and not her going-to-be-husband.
The 'Karva Chauth' trend was carried forward by films like 'Judaai', 'Biwi No.1', 'Raja Hindustani', 'Humare Dil Aapke Paas Hai' , Karan Johar's 'Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham', the Amitabh-Hema Malini-starrer 'Baaghban'. Karan Johar movies are real good when it comes to celebrations. And the Karva Chauth scene in Kabhi Khushi Kabhi Gham with Hrithik Roshan and Kareena Kapoor just made Karva Chauth the most fashionable thing to do. And yet again, Kajol and SRK rocked the Karva Chauth song with their lovable chemistry – 'Bole Churian”. Baghban had two Karva Chauth scenes. The second scene where Amitabh Bachchan and Hema Malini are not together is the highlight of the film.
The festival in films bring color and is a good way to show family unity, or the bond between a husband and wife. Sometimes it also helps bring to the fore the way the character feels for the loved one. It is more symbolic than anything else. It also helps in taking the story forward. Such social occasions in movies also lend to commercial viability of a project. One has the liberty to add a nice song and dance sequence, and do something nice with it.
Once again – Happy Karva Chath!