There are a number of fasts Hindu women keep to sustain the long lives of their loved ones. Karva Chauth, predominantly celebrated by North Indians, is such a fast. This year, Karva Chauth will be celebrated on October 24.
Married women starve all day and do a puja to ensure that the gods bless their suhaag with a long life. The vrat or fast that women keep on Karva Chauth is quite rigorous; not even a drop of water is allowed from dawn to the moment when the moon shows itself in the night sky.
The day-long vrat is, however, celebrated as a symbol of conjugal love, especially popularised by cinematic depictions. But there’s a part of this ritual that barely gets any notice, and that’s the sargi. The sargi is a symbol of love and blessing that a mother-in-law sends to her daughter-in-law, usually a day before Karva Chauth.
The sargi is essentially the pre-dawn meal that a married woman consumes before starting her Karva Chauth vrat. A thali full of energising, auspicious dishes are presented to the daughter-in-law, in the hope that it will bless her and sustain her through the ordeal of the vrat. Sometimes, items like sindoor, sarees, etc are also sent along with the foods as another symbol of love and care.
The sargi thali is, therefore, a celebration of the relationship between the saas and the bahu. If you’re keeping the Karva Chauth vrat this year or sending a sargi to your daughter-in-law, make sure these things are included in your sargi thali to make it complete.
Fresh fruits have a high water content. Given that the Karva Chauth vrat is nirjala, or without water, eating a lot of fresh fruits can make up for the loss of hydration. Make sure to add any citrus fruits you can get, along with pomegranates.
Energising and chock full of nutrients, dry fruits are a part of every vrat or fast thali. Include cashews, almonds, raisins and pistachios in the thali.
Mathris, a light roti or two, a simple sabji, halwa–these are the cooked food items that should be included in the sargi thali. They will make you feel full, and yet, won’t be too heavy to raise any indigestion issues.
Is there anything more auspicious and sattvik than Indian sweets? Starting the vrat with something sweet will give you the energy and purity of mind you’ll need to sustain throughout the day.
The sargi thali, which celebrates the bond between the mother-in-law and the daughter-in-law, is an integral part of Karva Chauth. Make sure you include this thali to make your vrat blessed and successful.