Karva Chauth,that most celebrated of all rituals for married couples just went by,heralded with the pomp and pageantry fit for a Bollywood drama. Evidently,ladies are still quite over the moon about the whole gig,excitedly discussing the ensemble they wore for the moon sighting. Lehenga-cholis,elegant anarkalis or sarees straight from Manish Malhotra or Sabyasachis style brochures with some big rocks thrown in. Surely,nothing less would do for them on this special night.
Skipping a days repast does not come easy. Or cheap.
Earlier,just a small blip on the pan India festival map,Karva Chauth (KC) has found widespread acceptance in a short span of time. The auspicious day of Karthik when married women fast from sunrise till moonrise for their husbands long life was a humble tradition prevalent largely in north India with some fun and games for the fasting ladies. Till Bollywood discovered it and eulogised it as the true test of a good wife. Starving yourself to prove your love/concern for your husbands well-being might defy all logic,yet it appears to have attained the status of the ultimate test of conjugal love,courtesy our movies.
And over the last decade,everyone seems to be scrambling to get on to the KC bandwagon.
If one were to pinpoint that one film that tipped the scales in KCs favour,it would have to be Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge. Theres a scene in the film that has Shah Rukh Khan playing Raj,where he observes a fast along with his lady-love played by Kajol. With the King of romance essaying a role like that,it is no surprise that observing a fast together became a new fad. SRK got a new fan following,inspiring Indian men to sign up for this penultimate romantic gesture.
But that too is old hat now. Missing a meal or two with your spouse is no longer good enough. Jewellery companies in particular have taken the lead in showing us the way forward with ads that suggest that women who are willing to forego a days repast are likely to reap rich dividends with their husbands cheerfully fishing out diamond jewellery for their better halves.
Off-screen too,our movie stars took to KC like fishes to water. Aishwarya Rai Bachchan on account of hubby Abhishek being away for a shoot this year completed the proceedings on Skype. Now match that. If its good enough for Aishwarya,Kajol or Shilpa Shetty can the All-Indian haus frau be far behind?
In fact,the only other festivity/ritual that could beat KC in its widespread taste is the wedding sangeet. Overnight the boisterous spirit of revelry,Punjabi style,has overtaken all other marital proceedings. Whether it is a Maharashtrian,South Indian or a Bengali wedding,everybody is rooting for a sangeet ceremony. Bollywood movies,particularly Karan Johar films,as also those coming out of the Yash Raj stables with impeccably attired folks dancing to catchy sangeet,are responsible in a big way. Band Baaja Baraat,an entire film based on the big fat Indian wedding offered several options all-in-one,with the lead pair being wedding planners.
Understandably,in B-Town,the enthusiasm for sangeets spills into off-screen lives as well. Kareena-Saif had one as did Esha Deol,Isha Koppikar and even Ritiesh Deshmukh and Genelia DSouza.
And obviously,the rest of India is following in their footsteps with elaborately choreographed sangeets that have mummy and maasiji joining in the raucous latka jhatkas. Those with deep pockets even go a step further and hire films stars for shaking a leg with the bride and groom much to everyones delight. For members of the swish set,these are the paisa vasool moments.
Let the festivities begin,Vive la Bollywood.