Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Musings on the moon....

I am not a Sun person. No offence meant to the Sun, but he kind of makes me feel all hot and bothered, and in the last 10 years, makes me all red and blotchy and puffed-up and itchy all over. If any of you reading this is a dermatologist, you would immediately know that I was allergic to the sun, more specifically to the uv rays in sunlight.
But I am definitely a Moon person. Irrespective of the fact that she is just basking in reflected glory, I am a staunch fan of hers. I just looooooove gazing at her. The darker the night, the better. And the stars are just icing on the cake...

I wasn't born a Moon person. The first 20 years or so of my life, she was there, and I was there, and while I sometimes did think her exceptionally bright, making the nights softly luminous, that was it.

The romance took root during my PG days on the Calicut University campus. This was the first time I was staying away from home, and the first time, when nights were spent out in the lap of Nature. I was trying to master English Language and Literature, and was finally, after 5 years of mugging chemistry and physics and maths and biology... loving what I was learning. Finding the journey of learning unbelievably pleasurable. All those hours of reading and loving it made me appreciate my surroundings so much more than earlier...

The campus was about an hour's hourney from the nearest bright lights. A return from our frequent jaunts to the bright lights, always meant a walk up and down the hilly terrain of my campus, back to our hostel, which was situated at the farthest end of the campus, well away from the classes and offices and other establishments, and farthest from the Men's Hostel! Since the bright lights were far, the nights were inky black and perfumed with the scents of the night blooming flowers...All that was needed to complete the magic and make us think almost like an alternate Wordsworth was the magic of the moon.

She would be smiling down benignly on all our nocuturnal adventures and gigglings and tales concocted for the benefit of our Hostel Warden, as to why we were late. (A movie, a classmate's mother fallen sick, missed the bus... the excuses went along the usual lines, given to us by seniors as reasons accepted by her.) Every step of those walks on that sprawling campus, the Moon followed faithfully. And the romance came into bud. It was impossible, for me at least, to be indifferent to her charms. I fell, hook , line and sinker.

Our hostel at that time was unique in the sense that it had a sloping roof onto which the girls could get on from the terrace behind. All that was needed was a vault over a low wall, and Bingo, we were on an expanse of roof, from which we could view the countryside. Literally the Queens of all we surveyed. The favourite pastime of the 'English' girls was lying on the terrace, till mess time. The Chemistry, Physics, Maths girls had to study, you see, and prepare for the next day's classes. All the group prep of the English girls was done from there, and we loved every minute of it. This was the stage in my life when my relationship with the moon blossomed forth into a full blown affair.

I would eagerly await her coming. Count the days till her full glory was out on sight for the world to drink in. With the stars to give her company. I could see the moonrise from the windows of my room. The first half of the month, she would be palely luminiscent. Like freshly made butter which baby Krishna hankered after. The second half, the sky would have a yellow-orange glow to it. And the moon when she finally deigned to make her appearance would be like a piece of cheese- yellow, going on orange.

I was quite mad about her, and my friends indulged me my madness, for it cost them nothing. Except for one night. I remember the time when I showed them the moon one particularly radiant night, and all of them looked and agreed with me that she WAS beautiful that night, and we imbibed her beauty for some 5 minutes as we walked down... And then I got thrashed for my pains at trying to hone their sense of beauty. For it was Vinayaka Chathurthi that night! A night when to look on the moon is forbidden, as you will earn disrepute and slander. How we laughed that night! Fortunately, none of us got into disrepute that year. If we did in subsequent years, that is no fault of mine or the moon.

I fell in love. Shared several things in common with my husband-to-be. Introduced him to the non-common things. Got him also to appreciate, if not fall in love with my moon. I remember one letter of his, after we were apart for sometime, which had a line- 'I don't see the moon and I miss you, I see the moon and I miss you more... '

After we got married, my husband also has gotten into the habit of moongazing. Maybe not gazing, but noting definitely. And mentioning it when she is particularly note-worthy. Our son has inherited this love for the moon. But sadly for him, all he can appreciate is a moon that is overshadowed by the bright lights. I'd like to think that he is that stage when he and the moon exist, when he is struck by her beauty only when his parents exclaim at it. He has not yet seen her in all her glory. In a velvety black sky, with the intoxicating fragrance of the nightflowers wafting all around you, and only a silver luminosity to show you the path that is almost not there...When it lights up all your world brighter than the sun, measured by your feelings. That will come, in another 20 years..


WhatsInAName said...

Only YOU can write JUST LIKE THAT :)

Loved this post! I am going to get into moon-gazing... so what if I am 35 yrs late, right?

Just like that said...

35 yrs is but a 'piffle'- was reading Wodehouse last week! ;-)And you already know (thanks to our dear FE's research-passed-on, that you will live long enough to get enraptured enough of the moon. Happy moongazing!

Usha said...

Oh yes, here's another moon gazer joining the club. Guess what just came in after admiring the orange moon shining on a serene sky after the pleasant drizzle of the evening. Life cant get better!

Just like that said...

Am glad you're happy, but...WHAT came in...????

Hope Munni's doing fine, give her a tickle under her ears for me.