Starlight, they say lights novels up like a gaudy wedding celebration. I have to agree. Sunlight is too tame and moonlight, too overdone. So starlight, fits the description perfectly. It has magic, it has mystery and we somehow, think stars are pretty, cause they glitter, which they don’t. Even if they do, god alone knows, why we have this fairytale crow complex of picking up shiny spoons and diamonds. Even if there is any sense for a crow to do it, why would you find a star, which is, by the way, not giving you light and is just a mocking little dot, I cannot tell you, how far away! So far away, we limit our romances to going just to “the moon and back”.
In such a delirious state, I speak to jigi and I tell him why starlight is not light and he agrees. Then he tells me,
“Adi, likes to look at the moon”
I don’t know Adi, so he shall be spared. But, I do know the moon and we sort of had an affair a few months ago. The steamy details, follow.
Bangalore , 2016, February
All I could think of, was how extinct moonlight was in cities. Standing on the terrace in the dead of the night, while my two friends confessed love in the background, I heard myself breathe and I looked up, there hung the moon. I didn’t care. It was pretty much how it always is, a white illuminated wasteland, kind of like a religious fundamentalist’s head.
Tired, I look down from the terrace.I tried to make out how many graves there were, don’t judge me, we were staying adjacent to a graveyard and counting graves is a tough job (How do you know, that’s just one grave? Who is to say, Mr Ram wasn’t buried 100 years later on the remains of Mr Balram) and I wasn’t wearing my spectacles so I lost count soon.
I was back to staring at the sky, lit red, blue and green, like the city was a giant vat of colorful flames reflecting skywards. Where does the moonlight stand its chance in such a carnival?
Moonlight, which was celebrated through moth ridden pages, through reels and reels of cinema, through verses shamelessly redundant now cast shadows, barely discernible, of one brick structure on another, as my friends proceeded to share a cigarette.
I proceeded to taunt the moonlight more. It filtered unnoticed through window panes throughout the night, a suspended gloom, an insistence bordering on audacity! The courage! Just how does it plan to retreat when one switches on a light to check on a sleeping baby? Just how fast, would be the merciless killing of it? It stays, as if in defiance of my thoughts, like a wife in denial.
I turn to look at my friends, they were still drinking and smoking, grey smoke wafted up as an answer, when one of them smoked towards the sky, and for one split second, it caught the moonlight and my eyes widened. Just as it materialized, it vanished, like those stories of apparitions, leaving me once again, in confrontation with the protesting moonlight., but leaving me weak kneed, slack jawed and rose cheeked.
It still stayed, hanging like a forgotten proposal, indifferent to the terrible beauty it still possessed for the little romantic in everyone, indifferent to the sudden change of my heart and I realize, I’ll die and it will cast light on my tombstone, every night, after the lights are out. Mockery of the gods.
Look at the moon, Adi. Maybe, It’ll be kinder , softer, bluer on your grave.