It is Karva Chauth today. And 29-year-old Karanjeet Kaur is in a fix.
It’s been little over ten months since she married the love of her life, Furqan. The marriage took place under Islamic law and nikah was solemnised by a Muslim cleric. After that, both of them have lived a peaceful life while mutually taking part in each other’s festivals. Due to work, they both live in another city, far from their native place and parents. Like other girls, Karanjeet is too fond of taking selfies and posting them on the Facebook, Instagram and what not! But post marriage she finds herself being judged by in-laws and a hoard of newly found relatives, who she believes are constantly peeping into her social media accounts for the sole purpose of gossip mongering.
Today is Karanjeet’s first Karva Chauth. She wants to celebrate it. Furqan doesn’t have a problem with it although being a true foodie he has politely refused to join her in fast. Just then he gets a call from his mother asking about bahu’s Karva Chauth plans. “I hope your wife is not planning to keep Karva Chauth ‘vrat’ now that she is a Muslim?” And it was followed by a strict advice, “Tell her not to post anything related to the day on Facebook. I don’t want to hear from anyone about that.” Furqan knows his mother is not as tough as she sounds, but like most parents, she too worries how the society is going to judge her family.
Karva Chauth will be followed by Diwali, Lohri and then Holi, Baisakhi and the vicious circle of festivals will continue and so will the silent confrontations.
It is a common issue that inter-faith couples face. They may be broad-minded and see the rationality in leading a healthy marriage life, but the prejudices in the society are constantly trying to pull them down.
There are always moments in the inter-faith couples’ lives when differences in beliefs are probably really irresolvable. Such situations are inevitable. It is not always easy to think outside the box you have lived in since birth. Being conscious of such a possibility and having the patience to accept differences and yet love each other for who they are is crucial to the success of the relationship.
The essential part is to understand that the only healthy relationship is one of mutual respect – we can be different in some ways but we love each other for who we are and respect our individual beliefs.
As for her first ‘vrat’ issues, let’s look at the moon, which is the same, come Karva Chauth, come Eid-ul-Fitr.