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The romance of the sun and the moon

Palak Tyagi

Long ago in a faraway land was a tiny kingdom called Summer Harbour. It was as beautiful as one could fathom, drowned in resplendent colours in the season of spring and between the paving stones of warm breeze came blooms so bold and tall, giving way to the captivating aroma of summer infused breeze. And as the monsoon arrived, pearl like drops descended the cottage cheese-like clouds splintering gaudy colours everywhere, each raindrop giving a kaleidoscopic view of the world. And autumn here was a time for dancing of spirits as one passes the gold and red maple leaves adorning the cosy hearth of earth, as if donning it with her most vibrant hues. And the snow capped mountains and sparkly white glaciers leave it not far behind the winters of the majestic land of Narnia. Such was the legacy of Summer Harbour!

The jovial and vivid inhabitants were the silver lining to this beautiful haven: Rosy the flower shop owner sold beautiful flowers ranging from timid petunias to delicate lilies to bold orchids to roses for the lovers; Richard the post man who rode his chromium squeaky bicycle whose bell upon tinkling elated the passers-by as he delivered the letter of long gone friends, friends from army who couldn't make it home for the vacation, families and lovers overseas; Martha the old candy shop lady whose candies were relished by the inhabitants of neighbouring kingdoms as well and were in words of the king of Summer Harbour 'tiny drops of sweet from heaven' ; Steve the mechanic who could fix anything from an old bicycle to magnanimous trucks and buses; Manny the repairman who with the aid of his tools could fix anything from a leaky faucet to a crusty old wooden chest; Mrs Faux who took care of the nutritional needs of the people of Summer Harbour through her fresh supply of juicy fruits and supple vegetables; Mr Joe, who aided the maintenance of immaculate law and order as his chest adorned the assorted police badges that he had earned through all the years; Mr Tux, who woke up at the break of the dawn to milk his cows to provide his fellow citizens with the freshest milk every morning. Rumour prevailed that he doted his cattle and took care of them far better than he did for his own children. Then there was Miss Binsen, the diva of the hour who owned the largest apparel store of the town and personally customised clothes to cater to the needs of everyone. And all corners of Summer Harbour resonated with chuckle some noises and play chants of tiny children, the sounds of whom reverberated the streets. Mighty the mountain and his family along with Croxy the crow and his friends were the favourites of the kids.

The kingdom of Summer Harbour was ruled by a king whom nobody had ever seen and yet he was the most revered and everyone sought his blessings while praying to an idol they claimed looked like him or chanted the praises of his. People of different faith had proposed their own titles for him, calling him God, Lord, Jesus etc. He was most commonly known as Lord. It was said that he abhorred ill-doings conducted under his name and purview and that exemplary punishments were awarded to the sinners. He was said to be amiable and considerate of his subjects, fulfilling all their wishes even as they thought of it and yet fiercely stern to the harbingers of dishonesty and injustice. His court comprised of the dearest residents of all: the sun, the moon, the stars, the air, the fire and the water. They all worked in unison to address the ways of life and except the sun and the moon they were all ever present at their duties while the Sun and the Moon took turns as being brazen used to be exceedingly tiring. Water bickered it's way through the town to the countryside, greeting all the rocks, hills, mountains, plateaus as well as trees and shrubs whereas the air flowed like a palliative, greeting all the leaves, butterflies and hills in the town through countryside.

The Sun used to come up from beneath the horizon every morning at the break of dawn just as roosters would crow, Mr Tux would wake up to milk his cows, Richard would set out to collect letters from the post office; he would nourish Mrs Faux's fruits and vegetables and he would smile benignly at the people of Summer Harbour to enlighten them and brighten up their day with warmth and affable energy. It does so rightly, by painting the silver lining of the cottage cheese-like clouds golden besides painting the sky with vermilion hues. All the birds of the kingdom including Croxy and his kin would fly above the horizon to capture these intricate details and then chirp their way through the town, spreading the vibrant energy!

Moon on the other hand was timid and self-effacing, unlike the confidently brazen sun. She shied away from people and preferred coming out only after the world went dark. That's when she used to illuminate even the most deserted corners of the kingdom with a very reassuring and benign energy in the moonlight to guide all the birds to their nests, helping Richard and Mr Joe navigate through the roads in dark, horses into their stables and helped fireflies navigate through the towns. She liked to think of herself as the guardian angel of the people of Summer Harbour as she chatted her way with the stars through the night. Her most breath taking form was her crescent shape.

Everyday the sun and the moon went about their duties, barely taking notice of the other until one evening when the sun was preparing to set in with his weariness due to an exceptionally long day and at a chance he glanced up to see a beautifully freckled figure in the sky whose persona seemed to dull even the azure streaks and vermillion hues that adorned the sky! He stood awestruck which further delayed the sunset which is now marked on 21st June to be the longest day of the year. This exceptional delay caught moon's attention and her eyes swiftly rose to gaze at the site, meeting good eyes. It was the beginning of an unprecedented romance of two lovers who'd never be united because of the cruelty of the nature's law that sun would shine in the day and the moon taking the turn at night, rendering them both apprehensive despite being the rulers of the sky in their own time. Their romance conflagrated their already brazen persona.

Moon saddened by the cruel fate wept-bitterly so much that it drenched the whole Summer Harbour for months. The rainbow's attempts to bridge the gap between the two lovers was rendered in vain and shooting stars at night seemed to stage an act of wrath against the nature's laws. The sun couldn't bear to witness the dejectedness of his love so he requested the lord to summon the court and pleaded his case to him.
He cried, "Oh Lord! Show some mercy, for this is a noble act of love!" to which lord Tactfully replied, "Oh my dear kids, I weep for the fate that is yours as you relentlessly showered nothing but love upon my people and yet I'm so powerless and unable grant the only wish you've ever made! Men have tried to woo the pure heart of the moon over years and yet yours is the only one she has accepted. How can I take away something so pious from an already savage world!"

And to the wonder of the entire court, in the endearment of their love, this yearning was finally put to an end when the lord announced their periodic union in 'eclipse'. He bellowed, "For centuries they've paid a price for the mankind by burning themselves to help us, from now on we'll be paying for them periodically in form of eclipse." The entire court gave a hearty cry and experienced an eclipse for the first time. It was nothing like a day, night or a twilight. It was nothing like anyone had ever witnessed before. It was as if one’s experiencing the music of two spheres that exhilarated every inch of them. In that moment it seemed as if the sun loved the moon so much that he died momentarily into a circular ring to let her conflagrate the universe which caused this ethereal union. Everyone now in the kingdom of Summer Harbour awaits this union of the two lovers every year and mark this celebration as a 'sacrifice for love.'


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