The solar Eclipse Day Jan 15, 2010.
As usual I heard about the eclipse only the day before. And I thought, as always it was one of those you cannot see. From the news channels I learned that it is an annular eclipse and the longest one in a thousand years !
And the central path traverses through Kerala. To view a solar eclipse was one of my greatest wishes . When the Northern part of India witnessed a complete solar eclipse last year I was jealous!
But then, I didn’t have any clue on how to watch this. The kids had classes till 12.30 pm. and eclipse started at 11.30 . Meanwhile I debated whether to cook the lunch and watched TV where they were telling about the harmful effects of the rays . I flipped through the news paper for the details. There also they had a list of do and don’ts .
Suddenly, a thought occured to me. What if Siva and Swetha looked directly into the sun. All through the morning they were talking about the eclipse. So I decided to go to their school. I also had in mind that they will be having some measures to view the eclipse. On my way I saw welders looking at sun from their garage. Oh ! why doesn’t I know any welder!
When I reached there, teachers and senior students were busy viewing the eclipse through solar glasses. But I felt too intimidated to go and ask. You cannot predict how weird school children may act sometimes. I even saw some of the attendants viewing it with X-ray sheets and goggles. Why are they doing this ? Don’t they know it should not be used? I tried to warn them.
When the school bell rang I saw many other students with solar glasses and managed to get one. At First I couldn’t see anything.
Then after a while ! There it was !
The eclipse had just begun and sun looked like a bitten apple. With the glasses the sun looked as cool as a moon. I passed the glasses to Siva and he was so excited. When I looked around, I saw that a group of kids have assembled around us for the glasses. ( Obviously only the senior students had it and the smaller children desperately wanted to have a view! ) . I handed it back to its owner and ran from there. Swetha started to scream as she couldn’t see it. So I went to another student with glasses and showed the eclipse to Swetha and one of Siva’s friends.
Then One of my friends called up to say that they have some arrangements to see it . So we decided to go to their place. Hubby also joined us from his office . He is not concerned about anything other than numbers. But came with us . And we watched the sun to our fill. Saw how the shadow caste by the moon gobbles up the sun and slowly moves away.
In between, Siva’s friend’s mother called me up to say how it can be viewed using black coloured water.
On our way back home we had some delicious chicken biriyani. And it is so against the old beliefs ! When it comes to food it is impossible to get through my hubby dear !
By the time we reached home I was so excited and was almost carried away by the eclipse. There was half an hour left for it to complete. Like some lunatic I filled a steel plate with Siva’s black paint and went out searching for the sun’s reflection. I don’t know what gotten into me . The sun lured me like it had never before. ( I have heard that before Tsunami occured, the sea retreated almost 2-3 km and every body was lured towards it by the beauty of the bare sea bed )
I was completely out of my mind that I didn’t even care about the rays of reflection that got into my eyes. At last I found the sun’s reflection .
Siva and Swetha joined me on the terrace . And hubby also came to see after so much prodding. What happens in the sky doesn’t matter him at all. ” It is a pity that you cannot see the beauty in all this ” I teased him.
I even wanted to take a snap of the reflection. Yes , I was completely out of my mind!
But thank God , Unlike me My husband is sane. He bid the kids and me inside saying that rays are a bit powerful and his eyes are aching. I sent the kids inside but wasn’t yet ready to go inside myself. No, not leaving the view of a thousand years !
But while I tried to focus my camera on the reflection , one of the rays gotten into my eyes and I felt the immense heat and prick. I silently obliged and went inside.
As always I settled before Google, my friend and mentor. So Google told me never to look at the eclipse through coloured water or reflection and don’t try to take a snap. Your retina will get cooked without you ever knowing ( retina does not have pain receptors ) and your camera will be spoiled !
I was aghast. So why did she tell me so ? To look through coloured water ? I never tell any body anything without cross checking. I am sure she didn’t know about it. But awareness matters. And sanity .
I am grateful my beloved was sane enough to stop me from blinding myself and more importantly our kids. I don’t think it would matter much if the eclipse occurs again the next day or after a thousand years if I went blind !
And it is something that I like most about him. Even though he doesn’t care much about trivial matters he lets me enjoy everything like a child ( my child instincts and fancies are very high! ) and knows exactly when and where to stop me.