In Pursuit Of The Moon

09/09/2015 11:35 AM IST | Updated 15/07/2016 8:25 AM IST
Shannon Fagan via Getty Images
Night Sky with Moon, Clouds and Trees


Everyone who knows me knows about my obsession with the moon. There are people who wait for me to post pictures of it, there are friends who share their versions of the moon with me, there are some who call me to check if I have seen it yet and there are also those who are very, very amused by my fascination.

I have been chasing the moon for many months now. I am not sure when it started or how. Maybe it began on one of those nights when I was standing on my balcony after a long tiring day looking at the stream of planes take off and land or maybe on an evening while picking clothes off the clothes-line. It is also possible that I noticed it when it peeped inside my bedroom from the tiny window as I lay dead tired on my bed. But one fine day I just found myself mesmerised by its splendor. In a matter of months from a random activity, moon watching became a fixation. Especially its changing forms.

Some days it was only a crescent, petite yet elegant. On other days, it was lopsided, as if someone had stolen a little slice off its side. There were also days when I could hardly spot it: it had risen even before the sunset and had gone far beyond my line of sight by nightfall. Then, of course, there were nights with no trace of him whatsoever. The most fascinating part, however, remained waiting for it to turn full.

I have spent many a night hanging on to the railing of the balcony, first waiting for it to appear, then trying to capture it in a frame and then, when it is way too high and bright, just craning my neck until it is beyond my sight. Even the full moon looks different at different times. In summer, it is never too bright, or perhaps the sky is not dark enough for the brightness to come through. In monsoon it is hardly visible: the clouds decide to come in only on full moon nights; in autumn it is at its sensuous best: low, dull, rusty and larger than any other time of the year; in winter it gets whiter and brighter. After a long day, the sight of the moon -- in whichever form -- acts as a balm for the tired soul.

The strategic location of my balcony, however, not only lets me witness the moon but also makes the sun available to me. Every morning, as soon as I wake up, I go out and look at the sun, and, most often, catch it rising too. Unlike the moon it is always on time; it is perfectly round each day of the year and does not have even one blemish on its face. Like a dutiful spouse, the sun is always there, even when you cannot see it.

"After a long day, the sight of the moon -- in whichever form -- acts as a balm for the tired soul."

The moon, on the other hand, is not only imperfect but also unpredictable. It comes out as and when it pleases, or not at all. It comes in all shapes and sizes, and even in its absolute perfectness, it is imperfect like a flawed lover: it can get difficult to pursue him after a point.

A few days ago, I saw the rising sun, its golden rays lighting the sky, rejuvenating everything that came in their way; the warm glow turning my room into a canvas with shadows painting pretty pictures -- sometimes on the wall, sometimes on the floor. As I watched it play hide and seek with the clouds in all its perfectness, I decided to give up on the moon: why not pursue someone that stands by you at all times rather than chase someone who is fickle minded?

Then last night I saw the moon again: big, bright, beautiful, and perfect even with all its flaws. I could not help going back to it.

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