Today when the news channels are full of the massacre of innocent people, it is easy to forget 45 years ago, there was a triumph for humanity. A vehicle carrying two men landed on a place on the moon named the Sea of Tranquility. Let us meditate on this amazing achievement for a moment. One of the men broadcast the news to earth with the following words:
“Houston, Tranquility base here. The Eagle has landed”.
I watched that when it was first broadcast live. The moon, for centuries has been this ridiculous cheese ball hanging incongruously in the sky. A ball of many myths from many cultures. In my own stories, you could see on the moon an old wise lady sweeping the ground with her twig broom. And suddenly, there were these two strangers wrapped in swathes of rubber and plastic, cables trailing from their backsides like tails bouncing on this cheese ball, which in my imagination transformed into a rubber ball.
Of course, we were given shovels full of technical information about process of sending people to the moon and a load of trivia surrounding the project. I was only interested in the fact that the romance and stories surrounding the moon were forever laid to rest. Here now was a large ball made of lumps of rocks and dust which was being further investigated with microscopes to probe deep, to expose and lay bare any remaining mystery.
45 years later, the mystery is slowly returning to me. The moon on some nights is pure evil, causing accidents and disasters around the world. On other nights it just lies there in its hammock, cool as a cucumber, full of innocence. I dread it most then.
Talking of disasters, let us spare a thought for the people imprisoned in a large prison complex called Gaza. They are at this moment being bombarded by land, sea and air. They have nowhere to run, being confined by prison gates and walls and can only watch as their families are being blown to smithereens. It is rather like guards lobbing grenades into a prison courtyard. The bombs are vicious enough to split carcasses into many pieces. Doctors are reporting that children are brought in, many with no heads. If you have children, weep!