When I was a child I was always scared by the sudden darkening of the full moon and dread feeling it brought along with the pitch black darkness. I would drag along my mother’s kira-end along with my other siblings as she chanted “Om oh hung baza guru padme sedhi hung” and we would repeat in chorus till the moon came up again. Our neighbours and some elder children in the neighbourhood would beat the drums and whistle making a hell lot of noise.
We would ask our mother about the lunar eclipse and she would say that a huge demon was trying to eat the moon and the people have to chant mantras and make lots of noise to frighten away the demon so that he would release the moon.
I grew up with that myth until I sat for my geography class where the teacher explained the fact about the lunar and solar eclipse.
Now more than two decades later when I think about the time when I used to be so scared about the darkening of the moon, and the noise people made in the neighbourhood, I can’t help but smile on remembering those amusing incidences.
And as we are going to witness the darkest lunar eclipse of the century tonight, those incidences from yesteryear came flickering on my mind urging me to write about it.