Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Karva F Chauth

I have received hate mail from several readers complaining about my Sourav Chandidas Ganguly like consistency. I was waiting for the right opportunity to strike. Karva F Chauth is probably the most influential, all encompassing and fundamental festival celebrated by most North Indian Women.

Given its importance and significance in the (north) Indian context, I have decided to prendre la balle au bond. (For all non-French speaking readers, that phrase literally means, the next Bond will be a Punjabi)

Transcendental Guide to Everything That They Didn't Tell You About Karva F Chauth:

It is common knowledge that we usually do not know or realize the implications of numerous Hindu festivities. For the purpose of my study, I recently conducted a small survey asking all my family members, Why Do We Celebrate Diyon Ki Tyohaar?

  • Dad: To appease Laxmi Devi, our neighbor
  • Mum: Return of Lord Rama with his wife Dushala and brother Jalagandha to Ayodhya. Also, to commemorate the killing of Narakasura, your friendly neighborhood ghost, by Kkrish's main squeeze Jambavantha
  • Brother: I follow Kabbalah now
  • BIL: Taash Ke Patte parties and Daaru
  • Chintu: Phatakas
  • Mintu: Phatakas
  • Pongy: Whatever

Such philistinism has prompted me to educate my South Indian brethren.


Long long time ago, there lived a beautiful woman named Vyjayanthimala Bali. She was the only sister of her several loving brothers. On her first Karva F Chauth, after marrying several loving brothers, she went to her parents' house. After sunrise, she observed a strict fast. However by noon, Vyjayanthimala Bali couldn't fast any longer. The several loving brothers, who loved her dearly, were perplexed watching Vyjayanthimala Bali in distress and decided to deceive her. The several loving brothers reflected a mirror through Pipal tree leaves. Vyjayanthimala Bali, easily gullible, broke the fast before sunset and ate food. As soon as Vyjayanthimala Bali ate her dinner, she received the news that her several loving brothers, were seriously ill. VB rushed to palace and on the way, met some of her childhood buddies. By the time she got back from the party all her several loving brothers were found dead because Vyjayanthimala Bali forgot calling the Doc. However, when she asked her for forgiveness, some Gods granted her a boon. The mystification of this boon is now celebrated as Karva F Chauth.


The process begins one day in advance with hordes of married women buying traditional adornments such as Tiffany creations and Baccarat fashion accessories, Vermilion, Matthi, Henna, Pheni, several boxes of Kaju Katli and dry fruits and an augmentation mammoplasty surgeon's kit.

They wake up early next morning, at an ungodly hour. After a kosher bath, they eat a lot of food and get back into bed. They remain in bed until 1800 hours when they bring out the expensive purchases from the evening before and decorate themselves.

In the evening, they offer Bali to their respective MILs. (Please do not confuse it with the sacrificial lamb though in effect it roughly translates to the same) The MILs then offer, this is true, I am not making it up, a figurine of Gowri Ma made of cow-dung to the DILs.

The Karva F Chauth story is then narrated by an ageing wench, usually the MIL. Once the story winds up, the women exchange their puja thalis and eat some more. Around 1830 hours, the wives wait for their husbands to arrive in a new Chrysler 300C.

Regional Names of Karva F Chauth:

  • South India: Raksha Bandhan
  • Muslims: Ramadan
  • Christians: Lent
  • Jews: Chanukah

Incase you have any further questions on this festival, please send your queries to http://www.karvafriedchicken.com

Yours harland sandersingjee.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hello, as much as i think that you are quiet funny sometimes, i also believe that you should try and restrict your humour when it comes to traditions and festivals. Every individual has a right to their beliefs but no one has a right to make fun or insult anothers. If you have nothing to write about dont.

4:58 PM  
Anonymous Riggs said...

Anonymous - If you don't like it, don't read! I am amazed that you would come up with something like so after having read that entire post. That is, of course, you were chaste, pure & indignant and went straight to the comments page after viewing the title of the blog, knowing fully well that the blasphemous cur, Mr.Q would have taken the mickey - again.

Having said that, Q, my friend, I am stuck alone in the office at the moment because all my colleagues have run off home to be with their respective Missuses. Also, I recall being married once and the only full moon my ex ever saw was in a movie called An American Werewolf in Paris.

Anyhoo, Ahnooie, I am off to the pub - thank god for out of town colleagues.

Yours HaleemIsGoodly,

9:12 PM  
Anonymous Kaluha said...

F stands for friend? ugh how .. disappointing .

Kosher bath? with no soap or bubbles? ugh again!

As long as people believe in absurdities, they will continue to commit atrocities.

12:04 AM  
Anonymous Mannat said...


I am terribly upset because the family survey you conducted doesn't include your wifey aka your better half..go tell Chintu, Mintu and Pongy to celebrate Karva F(Fashionable?) Chauth for you. Clearly your better half shouldn't bother!

1:44 AM  
Anonymous M said...

Q ,
After this blasphemy , I'm only waiting for the *fatwa* against yu .Wonders a lot what kinda fatwa , all those saffron clad women organization wud pass against yu ? Something like this ..
1 Q , can enter only chat rooms, with million married women bitching about their husbands .( Feel like puking? Don't yu deserve it?) :)
2Q , will 've to attend all those kitty parties .And all those gossip sessions with long gossip hrs , where he wud need to kill few husbands .
3 Q , must do at least one Karva F chauth .And no , strictly NO , kosher bath and no food for him .(STOP!!!!!!thinking about that cold large highball glass will yu?):)
( Feeling terribly sorry for him )

10:17 AM  
Blogger qwerty said...

Hi anonymous,

You are absolutely correct. My wife thought it was in bad taste too.

Are you my wife by any chance? I promise NOT to make fun of Ramadan, ok?

10:54 AM  
Blogger qwerty said...

hi riggs,

This pejorative post will make a lot of women unhappy. I fear my ratings will fall terribly.

Do something! Tell the women, I am a ladies man. If it necessitates, I will write a letter of apology telling all the women that Karva F Chauth is NOT Raksha Bandhan.

11:01 AM  
Blogger qwerty said...

hi kaluha,

It has been a mighty long time since we spoke. Were you reading my post during a lunch break?

F stands for I can't tell you what. It should have been fried chicken.

Kosher bath = Lots of cashews in Upma.

Frank Zappa also made a lot of wise cracks like that.

11:06 AM  
Blogger qwerty said...

hi Mannat,

I don't usually ask my wife to answer any of my surveys only because she will dismiss them purblindly.

Chintu & Mintu still do not know what KFC stands for and Pongy can't be bothered.

I have a feeling my wife is going to be very happy reading all your comments.

11:10 AM  
Blogger qwerty said...

hi M,

Fatwa has no legal binding in India.

I am willing to go to those kitty parties and chat rooms as long as I can spot some women with highly questionable morals.

On the subject of being a part of a Karva F Chauth, I have offered to do it for my wife in the past!

11:15 AM  
Blogger Sleep-Walker said...

Hey Qwerts,

My memories of Karva chauth in delhi are dim...thanks largely to the dull moon who refused to show up until all the hungry thirsty women fainted in silk-and-jewelled glory.

I also remember they chided me for failing to recall what my hubby's face looked like while I was looking at the moon through the sieve. Kya karoon, I kept seeing robert redford in the moon.

the bottomline is, I like any festivities that guarantee a holiday, no-cooking-because-friendly-neighbourhood-aunties-deliver-platters, and when everyone stays home either because they ate too much...or fasting unto death and the roads are devoid of indicabs and the baffling assortment of cars.

11:07 PM  
Blogger qwerty said...

hi SW,

I didn't know you had to find your husband's face in the moon.

I like festivities too. Gives me a reason to write about them.

12:14 PM  
Anonymous kaluha said...

Husband's face in da moon? no wonder so many women describe seeing a rabbit in the moon.

nah Q I am not on lunch break , it is freezing here , 8C and I am wondering whether I can cut another day of school sigh!

yup we havent spoken in a while. As usual that is Your fault.

8:58 PM  
Blogger qwerty said...

hi kaluha,

My etymological research tells me that the song Darkside Of The Moon was based on the theory of finding the face of your husband in the moon.

How is it my fault?

10:19 AM  
Anonymous kaluha said...

an hon it is always your fault. You didnt make the effort! Hence we didnt speak. It is a simple law ...

etymological research is for da birds .. now epistemologically I wonder what you think :0)

9:42 PM  
Blogger qwerty said...

Hi Kaluha,

If I don't know where to find you, how will I talk to you?

Entomology is for insects and Ornithology is for birds.

Etymology is for origin of words.

What is knowledge?

11:49 AM  
Blogger Sleep-Walker said...


how can u say etymology cannot be for birds...or insects for that matter...they chatter too.

Who's calling my hubby the moon?

11:53 AM  
Blogger qwerty said...


From tomorrow, only one cube of sugar in your coffee.

6:06 PM  
Anonymous Kaluha said...

aha .. that age old "what is knowledge" question raises its ugly head.

Introduces an to the wonders of a search engine called "Google"!

checks again as to who mooned sleepy.

Err... An hon, you dont need to find me to be able to talk to me do you? .. Sigh! Someone tell An about email and cell phones please?

Also An.... asking always helps:0)

3:53 AM  
Anonymous M said...

While yu guys discussing birds here , I need to ask yu this ....someone plz tell me what's the etymology of this word .."bird watching" ( Don't give me Salim Ali's version
). How it evolved ? And reached at this level ? It's become a world wide phenomenon , the most fav word ( read act) for almost every guy in this world:)Sigh!! All my male friends wud stop talking with me , every evening and go out for "bird watching".
And who told yu , fatwa's no legal binding in India ?, yu need some kinda training in islamic theology at Deoband School in Delhi .

11:08 AM  
Blogger Sleep-Walker said...

Birding or birdwatching is a hobby concerned with the observation and study of birds The term "birding" is of American origin... Since visual observation is routinely complemented with auditory observation, the term "birding" is more accurate, and is growing in usage, particularly among devotees of the hobby...Bird watching is more than just observing birds. It is an interest in the actual birds -- their names, markings, activities, ...


note: more recently, bird-watching is replaced by the phrase 'doing birds' which has various meanings ranging from eating chicken to u-know-what.

need more info, M? ask me. Kaluha anyways knows the mertits and demerits of go-ogling...

7:29 PM  
Blogger qwerty said...

hi kaluha,

When you love some, say it with an Archies Greetings.

12:23 PM  
Anonymous Kaluha said...

ugh how .. common! An hon I am a snob.

Google mah best buddy says that the Core users of Archies cards are aged between 5 and 24 constituting approximately 44% of total population and that aint me .

So will cross that bridge when I "love some".

some what? how weird.

10:03 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

m, when ur male friends go "bird wathcing" in the evening trust me its not the feathered variety but the breasted ones they want to see!
No self respecting feathered friend of urs will hang on post sunset.
Except of course the owls who ur male friends wudnt give a hoot about :P
Cereal K

9:45 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

m, when ur male friends go "bird wathcing" in the evening trust me its not the feathered variety but the breasted ones they want to see!
No self respecting feathered friend of urs will hang on post sunset.
Except of course the owls who ur male friends wudnt give a hoot about :P
Cereal K

9:45 AM  
Blogger qwerty said...

What Cereal K was trying to say by posting his message twice was he can't give two hoots about it.

12:45 PM  
Anonymous M said...

Mr. Keloggs ,
Correct me if I'm wrong , so it's only about owls and vultures? Right? Rest of the feathered species only live and die .Don't they?
The problem here is vultures are about to get extinct , now I wonder what wud happen with owls? They wud also just live and die like other feathered species ?
Depressing isn't it?

10:43 AM  
Anonymous kaluha said...

Happy Diwali An! ( sorry dont know how else to get hold of you )

9:44 AM  

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