Features Saturday, October 18, 2014 - 05:30
Radhika Bhirani | October 10, 2014 | 12:00pm IST New Delhi : Actor Varun Badola's wife does not keep fast on Karva Chauth. But this year, he has decided to go without food and water for one day Saturday out of curiousity for the festival. He's among other male celebrities like Chetan Bhagat, Jay Bhanushali and Hiten Tejwani, who have pledged their support to #FastForHer, a social initiative by online matrimony website Shaadi.com. On Karva Chauth, observed mostly in northern India, most women keep a fast from sunrise to moonrise for their husband's long life and well-being. It's a trend that seems to be fast catching up among young urban men too, who do not believe it's a compulsion for their wife to observe a Karva Chauth fast, nor do they mind observing the fast for and with their better half. According to a latest survey conducted with 5,500 men - 3,135 married and 2,365 single - in the age group of 22 to 36, as many as 60.4 percent of the married men said "Yes" when asked if they would fast for their wives during Karva Chauth. As many as 21.7 percent said "Maybe" and 17.9 percent of them said "No". Single men seemed mostly unsure about the matter as 48.4 percent of them said "Maybe", 33.1 percent said "Yes" and 18.5 percent said "No". What makes Varun observe the fast? "Well, I found this #FastForHer as a cute initiative, and I see, it has grown by a serious proportion. I also wanted to see how difficult it is to observe the fast. So, it's also out of curiosity that I'm doing it for the first time," said the actor, who is married to singer-actress Rajeshwari Sachdev for a decade. Rajeshwari doesn't fast on Karva Chauth. "It's not a compulsion in our family, and personally, I believe it's not very sensible for a working professional to observe a fast where you can't even drink water. But let's see, I'm giving it a shot this time," Varun, who's likely to be shooting for at least 12 hours Saturday, told IANS by phone from Mumbai. Hiten, who is married to actress Gauri Pradhan, is taking the fast as a "challenge". "Gauri knows I can't stay hungry, so it's a challenge for me to observe this fast," Hiten told IANS, and added: "For so long, women have been fasting for their husbands. Let's change it." Gauri doesn't fast for Hiten either, but like Varun, even he is nonchalant about it. "It's totally up to her. If she's not keen on fasting, it's totally fine. It's not necessary," said the actor, who received a mixed reaction from his wife when he told her of his Karva Chauth pledge. Different men have different reasons for why they want to fast for their wife. According to the survey, as many as 51.1 percent of the married men said they would like to fast during Karva Chauth for their wife's long life, 35.3 percent of them said it denotes 'equality in marriage', and as many as 13.6 percent wished to fast to 'show respect' to their partner. Among the single men, who consider it's okay to fast for their wife, 'equality in marriage' takes precedence over everything else as a prospective reason. Young entrepreneur Keshav Arora, 27, is getting married early next year. Will he ever fast for his wife? "I doubt it! Not eating is fine, but not being able to have water is definitely too much. But I would never ask my would-be wife to fast either," he said. Arora's response reflects what when 54.64 percent of single men in the survey said, when asked should their wives keep Karva Chauth fast for them: "It's her choice". Some 27.1 percent said, "No", and 18.3 percent's response was a "Yes". Gourav Rakshit, chief operating officer of Shaadi.com, believes the trends highlight "how Indian men today believe in a marriage of modern thoughts and tradition". So, are you fasting for your lady love? IANS
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