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Moon is a romance

Representational image. File

Representational image. File  

As Chandrayaan -2 prepares to land on the moon, I am taken back nearly 60 years when our grandma at Pilimandori village in Haryana used to sing us a lullaby: Chandamama door ke/ pue pakaye poor ke/ aap khaye thali mein/ munne ko de pyali mein/ pyali gayi toot munna gaya rooth.

It was a simple, idyllic life, and the moon and stars played a stellar role as we played at night.

Kabaddi matches would be held on moonlit nights. We would prepare the ground on soft sand and select our teams from the mohallas.

This was also the time to enjoy wrestling by night, with the shining moon being our main source of light.

As a child, I often slept in our fields at night, to guard the crops from stray animals. With my cot in the centre of a swaying wheat or bajra crop and an irrigation water channel running by, it used to be heavenly with the cool breeze and hot milk.

Our grandma had told us a number of mythological stories about the sky and the solar system. “Dadi, what is that dark figure on the moon?” “It’s a grandma spinning charkha,” she would say.

I would ask my brother about the galaxy and the pole star. While he used to explain to me the method to spot the pole star, I would suddenly notice a shooting star and shriek with joy.

In the Army, in our younger days, when there was no GPS or cellphone, navigation by stars and the moon used to be taught to us. During the exercise Brass Tacks in 1987, one night we covered over 70 km using just our compass and the sky, and we hit the target spot on.

During winters in Leh, the temperature reaches minus-20 to -30 degrees Celsius. Still, I would go out of my room and walk through the snow, just to see the moon.

ripu_d2003@yahoo.co.in

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Printable version | Apr 3, 2020 12:19:42 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/opinion/open-page/moon-is-a-romance/article29309828.ece

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