I have watched you hover around me for as long as the first of humankind has existed. Not much has changed since, except that we separate in some of your regional belts for a few hours. I have watched you create fascinating glimpses for your kids. So many that sometimes, I feel they take you for granted. I am sorry if I sound curt or my revelation is crude and hurting. For all I know, you may not even justify my whining of your offsprings to whom you are this committed to. Moreover, I do not have the right to do so when there is a chink in one’s own armour. Me. I am no exception. The other day in India I was getting ready for my slumber when I overheard a mother and daughter conversing about you and I. As always, I wanted to be oblivious to my kith or kin and their well-being. I could not have cared less about the looming Star in my neighbourhood or the reddening Sky in my aftermath. I had done my time for the day. I wanted to nap. Adieu. And so, I shut my eye. I blinked my way into Horizon as frictionlessly as I usually do. But I felt fluttery at closure. The mother-daughter conversation ruffled my shades of dusk. I wasn’t able to effectuate my dip into Horizon. Until I overheard the two that day, I had forgotten that I am allowed to retire in your world because you make it possible. A lot of your kids grow up with an awareness of my rising in the East and setting in the West. It feels as if a pedagogue skipped a grammar lesson on conjunctions. I wish the learning alters to me rising in the East and setting in the West because of you. All this while, I thought I had your significance surmised right. Irrespective of how I exhibited it on the outside. How ignorant and self-centred I felt that day. What if, you decided someday that you no longer want to orbit me? I am likely to be found fighting my way through a wildfire in heaven. With my heat in tow, stimulating fire across Horizon.
I would be that unbidden volunteer handed over to the magician. My gaze would bore into his’ with unanticipated intents. Bereaved of his simple tips. Gullible to his hidden tricks.
Ma: There we come to the end of another day. The sun has gone to the United States of America.
Daughter (taking a moment to realise what she had just heard): These days, even humans can make it to the USA in twenty-one hours. Yet, the earth remains fastest. It reaches the sun to the US within twelve hours.
Ma: It is not really the sun sets. It is an optical illusion. (a preganant pause) It’s just the earth that moves around. The sun is actually stationary.
Daughter: Yeah. (gazing at the sun as it disappeared into the horizon) Ma, what if the earth stopped revolving one day?
Afternoons are my favourite. I like the space you give me in them. I am at my brightest, and laziest. You circle me by degrees and time stands still for those few blissful hours. Sometimes, I wish you would end your pirouetting around me with midday. I find percolating my heat to be one of the easiest things, for my temperament needs no controlling. It is my way of saying – let go. Sky beckons to my wishes, allowing me to prevail over him according to my mood. I can sprawl over or go crepuscular. Being midway of having completed my journey for the day and finishing the other half appeals to me. This sojourn leaves me with, what many of your inhabitants call, a Friday morning. Just that, I celebrate a Friday morning every noon. As much as I like many of your kids, I cannot help feeling amused when they bundle themselves up in layers of clothes during my shiniest hours on you. Either that or they take refuge in a self-effacing shelter.
It hurts me, though when your children ask amongst themselves – ‘in this heat?’. I find this reasoning grouchy. Am I so unbearable? Or, is it my wrath that intimidates them? Residents of your Indian subcontinent cannot bear me at my finest. I may sound like a desperado, believing you have no other job than to be my bootless detective. Pray, tell me this, if Land chose to be different every few feet, how does it become just my fault? I do not visit certain parts of you in the West; I am uncalled. But little do I know that your occupants there feel otherwise. I see hundreds of dots step out on the day to bask in me. Some enjoy me like their time out. I am their breather; their we-were-on-a-break from routine. Your inhabitants’ hypocrisy is bemusing. And annoying. I like to enjoy Sky to myself. Not just in the afternoons, but throughout. I am sheepish enough to admit it. How must I react when your kids encroach him with paper kites and aeroplanes? At some of such times, I cave in and do what I do the best. I let go. After all, it is You whom I shine upon. Your kids are oblique bearers.
Sometimes, I underplay against Sky. I like to. I feel like an indulgent donator. I lounge around indifferently at Rock Bottom, lazy enough to wake up, while Cloud enjoys the frontline feeling playful and grey-filled. A crack of a thunder, the flash of a purple, and the sight of water kissing mud – your residers are wooed already. Bah, humbug!
Photo: Vinod VV Photography
Although I have never managed to proclaim my affection for you, I hope you do know that you are my favourite of the eight. Given a chance, I would be content as your mistress. Being a spouse would not do me justice. I am not marriage material for I’m fickle. I need to flit in and out of all of you eight siblings. (Now you know better of my whereabouts on days when Cloud takes over.) I cannot settle for one partner. I feel unable, restricting myself to follow commandment(s) the mortal society bestows in the cover of marriage. Infidelity is my strength. And weakness. You say you are okay with an unconventional wedlock. You say you have the strength to take whatever comes your way while I go ahead with my id-like inhibitions. I am convinced by it all. But you need to understand that I am a hypocrite. My state of unfaithfulness will ignite in me a guilty self-conscience. The contrition will consume me. You are settled. And mortal. You have lives to look after. You have chances of being perished after a while. Before your children do. Or afterwards. Not me. I do not understand my lifespan. I do not even know if I am perishable. I am not saying that no one can reach or destroy me; let’s face it, there isn’t a unanimous evidence. At the same, I am insecure coming in the open about our relationship status. My desires towards you are lusty. Being locked to you will destroy my amorous fancies with Venus and Mars. Jupiter and Saturn. And the rest. I am moody. And selfish. Just like I do not care about Sky once I am done with my time in the evening, I cannot stick with being beautified all the time. And that is exactly what you do to me. You complete me. You have always done so. But it is not daily that I want to belong. It is not every day that I want to feel beautiful. Or wholesome.
I want you to continue to be my favourite mistake.
Read the earth’s response to the sun here.