Today, millions of hungry and thirsty women--and a few men as well--are eagerly awaiting moonrise. For many, of course, Karva Chauth is just about love. But there is no denying that this festival has increasingly become a commercial extravaganza--a sort of Desi Valentine's Day for married people. That is only one of the reasons that many of my friends object to Karva Chauth; in addition to being over-commercialized, they say, it is part of a larger anti-women, Hindutva agenda, and fasting on that day is just wrong. Of course many of my friends feel this complaint is silly--Karva Chauth all about faith, tradition, love, healthy husbands and female companionship. Me, I keep my mouth shut. And whether or not Mrs. Batti or I choose to fast today, we'll keep a low profile and try not to lend support to any evil causes!
Anyway, as I was walking through the market last night, I saw dozens of women waiting in line for mehndi, and it made me think this would be a great time to run something on cosmetics. Not that mehndi is bad; far from it. The problem with mehndi is that most of the profits from it's application go to small time mehndi wallas, and that leaves out the giant corporations! Right now, these companies are probably working on a plan to cash in on this golden opportunity.
Along those lines, Fair and Lovely has come out with a product called "Fair and Lovely Ayurveda;" they are trying to sell us a 'natural' version of their product based on thousands of years of knowledge. You can see their trailer here:
Sorry, but I say the story line is all wrong. Why do we have to be fair to be lovely? And do you really trust what goes in that tube? Sorry, those graphics are nice, but I'm not buying!
Where will it end? Well, Annie Leonard of the Story of Stuff project offers a few clues, and it's not a pretty sight. Here's her latest: "The Story of Cosmetics."
That's all for today. And here's hoping for an early moonrise!