The dark-red mehendi decorating the hands of gorgeous women clad in intricate gold jewellery, topped with not-so-subtle red sindoor mark on the forehead, can only mean one thing; Karva Chaut is here.
Karva Chaut is the one day married women in all households dress up like a newly-wed brides and look their best, even as they fast from sunrise to moonrise for the safety and longevity of their husbands.
The one-day festival, which falls on the fourth day after the full moon, has in recent years become more glamorised that it ever was, all thanks to Bollywood. In fact, over the years, Karva Chaut itself has become an inseparable aspect of Hindi Cinema, which has made this age-old festival a romantic one, which symbolises the love between a husband and wife.
In Yashraj's "Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge", the Karva Chaut scene is a pivotal one, wherein Kajol's character refuses to break her fast, when her fiancé offers her the first bite, and waits until Shahrukh Khan's character, her true love, for whom she is secretly keeping the fast, feeds her. In "Baghban", Amitabh Bachchan persuades his wife (Hema Malini) to break her fast over the telephone because they have been separated by their uncaring children.
Here is a look at some of the most popular Bollywood songs that celebrate and glamorises Karva Chaut:
When you think Karva Chaut, the first song that comes to mind is "Bole Chudiyan" from karan Johar's "Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham", wherein Shahrukh Khan- Kajol and Hrithik Roshan- Kareena Kapoor Khan, along with Amitabh Bachchan-Jaya Bachchan make the song a memorable one. The song sung by Alka Yagnik, Kavita Krishnamurthy, Udit Narayan, Sonu Nigam and Amit Kumar is the perfect depiction of how NRI communities celebrate Karva Chaut.
Chand Chhupa Badal Mein
Sanjay Leela Bhansali's "Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam" brilliantly captures the ceremonious Karva Chaut celebrations distinctive to Gujarati culture. As the ethereally beautiful Gujarati women decked in embroidered sarees call on the moon with "Aaja re aaja chanda", lovers Aishwarya Rai and Salman Khan are seen on a separate rooftop celebrating their private Karva Chaut to the tunes of "Chand Chupa Badal Mein".
Ghar Aaja Pardesi
The Karva Chauth celebration on the eve of the wedding of leading actors Shah Rukh Khan and Kajol is an unforgettable scene in the all-time Blockbuster "Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge". The traditionally dressed Punjabi women worshiping the reflection of the moon in the water decorated with diyas elevate the entire setting of the beautiful song "Ghar aaja pardesi, tera desh bulayere" sung by Pamela Chopra and Manpreet Kaur to the tunes of Jatin and Lalit.
Akash Dekhu Main Aaj Ki Raat
In "Akash Dekhu Main Aaj Ki Raat" from the romantic comedy "Aashik Aawara" starring Saif Ali Khan in lead role, Jyoti (Mamta Kulkarni) and her mother Gayetri, both are waiting for their respective loved ones and for the moon on the occasion of Karva Chowth to break their fast. The beautiful song sung by Sadhana Sargam ends with the prayers of both the mother and daughter being answered.
Aaj Hai Karwa Chauth Sakhi
The classic Bollywood film "Bahu Beti", directed by T. Prakesh Rao in 1965, depicts the story of Shanta (Mala Sinha), a spirited young woman fighting to win respect and independence in a male-dominated society. The black-and-white movie is among the first to depict Karva Chaut in the big screen. Sung by Geeta Dutt, Meena Kapoor, "Aaj Hai Karva Chaut Sakhi" shows the simple celebrations that come with the age-old festival and sisterhood among the women in a household.
Karwa Chouth Ka Vrat Aisa
In the song "Karwa Chouth Ka Vrat Aisa" from the movie "Karva Chaut", Helen and Usha Mangeshkar explain the importance of the Karva Chaut "vrat" and why it is important to keep the fast with deference and an honest mind.