Popat ho gaya (phrase; Hindi slang): When someone gets fooled.
So we know last night there was a Partial Lunar Eclipse visible from Asia, Africa and Australia. A rare phenomenon for us Indians, this one, because it coincided with the festival Rakshabandhan after a considerable number of years. While that is not anything special, in my impious opinion, a Lunar Eclipse by itself is a pretty special thing.
The last Lunar Eclipse I had seen was in 2008 or 2009, I can’t be sure. But it did strike me as beautiful. It was a Full Lunar Eclipse too and the moon looked like it was wearing a veil of orangey-brown. It got considerably darker too, since a full-moon night is particularly bright.
Lunar Eclipses often don’t generate that kind of interest in the public because they are not as spectacular as Solar Eclipses. But they are precursors to Solar Eclipses, and the next full Solar Eclipse is coming on 21st August. Unfortunately for us, it will only be visible in the US. Why do all good things like Alien discoveries and sightings happen in the US? Hmmm…
Hoping to catch the eclipse this time on camera, I readied myself for the event. First off, trying to do anything with a toddler is difficult, mate! Especially when it’s that toddler’s bed-time. But since I was on a mission, I had prepared myself. I had ensured that my daughter had been fed, washed up, had her teeth brushed and changed into her night clothes well before the event. In order to put her to sleep asap, I had even bribed her with her favorite TV show and the poor thing, bless her, did doze off without much fuss.
As soon as she went to sleep, I dashed to my balcony where I had laid out all the necessaries for watching a celestial event – the camera had been fully charged. My phone was right next to it on the makeshift table so I could tweet the pictures to the world (as if I was the only one). A bowl of chips was going to be my nutrition for the hour long wait and then there was the glass of juice (gotta counterbalance the negatives of eating something unhealthy, right?)
At first, the clear sky made a beautiful sight. The moon and it’s surroundings looked serene, clear, perfect for a Lunar Eclipse. Among the several pictures I clicked, this one was the best among the worst.
I know, I suck at photography. But this was from my phone’s camera. The actual camera pictures were far worse. I told you this was the best of the worst, didn’t I?
There were a few clouds that sometimes blocked your view, but I wasn’t bothered about them. They were thin and wafery. They would go away. What I was more bothered about were the mosquitoes that were feasting on me!
Smack! Smack! I went…
I don’t know how many I killed but I did manage to hit myself pretty hard a couple of times trying to kill those buzzkills (pun intended). So I went back inside to get myself some mosquito repellent.
I came back outside to this unpleasant view – A lizard was on the table in very close proximity to my bowl of chips. If you know me you will know how I absolutely HATE lizards! I’ve talked about it in detail here. Their pale, jaundiced skins do something to me. Yuck!
I knew that I couldn’t hazard eating those chips anymore. Yeah, yeah the probability of the lizard having touched the bowl was small but who knows, we’re talking about city lizards here. They could’ve adapted themselves, and besides, it’s a bowl of chips, ya know! Who can resist chips?!
So I shooed it away with a jhadoo (broom). And waited… and waited… and then it started…
You could barely see it at first, the change was that small. But it definitely had started and I quickly tweeted about it to the world, at 10.57 in the night…
A friend Whatsapped me just then and I quickly shooed her away, shamefully lying to her that I was trying to put my daughter to bed. (I still have to apologize to that friend). And just when I started getting all pumped up about catching it for real, a huge dark cloud swallowed the moon whole!
I COULDN’T BELIEVE IT!!
I waited a full hour for the real deal, let go of my nightly Netflix binge-watching ritual, had myself sucked dry by vampirish mosquitoes, battled an icky reptile and sacrificed an entire bowl of good chips only to watch a big, fat cloud swallow the moon?!
I rushed to the other balcony. No change!
I rushed to the windows overlooking that part of the sky. Nada!
I finally tiptoed out of the house, and went into the open verandah. No frigging change!
I waited for the next fifteen minutes for that cloud to float away, but more came and then some. Suddenly it began to look like it could rain. And it did.
Stupid cloud rained on my parade! Popat ho gaya!
Copyright ©2017 Pradita Kapahi.
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