Lunatic, on a lunar spectacle
Picture by: Soumyajit Pramanick
There was the moon, extraordinarily bright. And there was the sea, roaring in the night. There was also a sandcastle. A sandcastle — my first — glimmering in the moonshine. Memories have a strange way of making their way into one’s heart. They seem all the more special as time blurs them and takes us farther apart… from those we shared them with. It could be an image, a sound, a smell, some words, a footprint in the sand, or maybe holding a hand. Often memories revolve around that experience of the moment — no past and no future to bother you, just the pure joy of the present. This was one such moment.
It was a dull and ordinary day. Tired I was, walking away. Some sleep, I thought, I was in need of. It so happened I was asked to join some folks to the beach. And without a moment’s hesitation, I agreed. And we started, off to the beach! The fatigue just faded away. We walked to the beach and as we came closer, we were greeted by the sea breeze. There we were, at sunset, waiting for the moonrise. A sandcastle, I said, we should make. Though, my suggestion, no one would take. I started anyway. And then a friend joined in and we started making the castle.
The moon that day was supposed to be big — too big to miss. The closest to the earth in some twenty odd years, you know. And the sea, with moonshine, was soon aglow. The castle was made well before the night became darker and the moon, brighter. There were two flags atop the castle. The waves were growing wilder. So I made a line of defence around the castle. They inched still closer, and I made yet another wall of defence. In all, I think, I made three of those walls. I had taken upon myself the job of protecting the castle from the waves, though every now and then the waves hit me from behind in an embarrassing sort of way.
There’s something about the sea at night that draws me towards it. All you see are white waves splashing on the shore, and if you look above, you’ll see stars of yore – light years away and yet making a connection, zillions of years down the line, with some earthling staring at them in wonder. The sea is pitch dark, so is the sky. Looking up at the night sky is a journey into the past, for the star you see now may long be burnt out and dead; and what you are left with may just be a memory, a flicker, before the end. Being there when the night is still dark, waiting to catch the first glimmer of light and watching the sun gradually rise is yet another joy to behold. The day obscures the stars and outer space, covering it all up in a blue blanket we call the sky, courtesy the sunshine scattered off the atmosphere. The sun is, of course, a special star to us. It gives us everything we know around us, essential to life and everything else life is capable of. So the blue sky too has its charms, especially when clouds bedeck the firmament and make all kinds of shapes, all so impermanent.
The sandcastle was a thing of beauty — at least to my adoring eyes, twinkling with the glee of making my first sandcastle. It withstood some half a dozen assaults, with the waves inching closer every time. It was a lunar spectacle we were there for. And it turned out I was a lunatic, on this lunar spectacle. For in my enthusiasm, I kicked in the sand, and somehow lost a big toenail. It was a small sacrifice, I thought, for the castle I had made with such love. Alas! One can’t love castles of sand enough. They must eventually dissolve, like everything else in life. The waves, just before we left, swept away one of the flags. The other one I rescued. It was time to bid adieu, to leave my sandcastle to the mercy of the elements. And to make some castles anew.
P.S. Crossposted from ToS