Moony musings

No one can forget those evergreen childhood days when our mothers, showing us the smiling moon in the starry night sky and reciting the traditional lyric “Chandakki mama chakkuli mama!” coaxed us lovingly whenever we as children resisted eating our food. During lunar eclipse we felt immensely saddened imagining the pain of our favourite Chandamama whenever we were told that our dear ‘mama’ was in the process of being swallowed by the demons Rahu and Ketu. To this day I wonder why such weird and grotesque versions were being given to children when it was known since long that lunar eclipse was nothing but the passing shadow of the earth on the moon.

I still remember our days in ‘shishu vihara’ when our teacher would ask us why we liked the moon more than the sun, and our ardent reply would be that while the sun gave light in the day poor dear moon gave us the much needed light at night! During Ganesha festival we were warned against seeing the moon to escape the wrath of the Lord, whom the moon had inadvertently antagonised. But true to the saying that forbidden fruit is tastier we couldn’t resist the temptation of sneaking furtive glances at the moon! Fortunately, none of us suffered in any manner as feared. May be Lord Vinayaka was indulgent towards us children who loved worshipping him!

There are only a few things in this world which can be compared to the celestial charm of the serene moonlit night — which is truly a symbol and divine manifestation of peace, tranquility and romance of life. It is said that every element of creation has a definite purpose and this enchantingly soothing milky magic of moonlight is perhaps the message mother Nature is conveying to humanity to inspire us to defeat the evil forces of hatred, violence and cruelty which are darkening the otherwise radiant face of our planet.

It is intriguing why moon, the only natural satellite of our planet, is referred to as ‘he’ in our country while it is ‘she’ in several other countries. The moon may have different significance to people of different religions, but for the moon-struck lover who swears to bring the moon and offer the same at the feet of his beloved in his most eloquent moments, the concept of this precious gift remains the same all over the world! Likewise the term honeymoon signifies the most cherished and memorable phase of human life ever since mankind found honey on earth.

Poets describe beautiful women as ‘chandra mukhi’, ‘chaudhwin ka chand’ and the like, but now that man has explored the cratered surface of the moon it is difficult to say how many women would relish this compliment!

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