Do you look at the moon?

Design: Azmin Azran

As always, the stadium road in Chattogram came alive that evening. Despite the warmth of the matka tea against my palms, the glass lined ice-cream parlours, and the aroma of smoking kebabs, I felt quite dismayed at this picturesque evening crowd. 

While they wrapped ghee-soaked paratha around tender meat, and drank and spilled their tea, a magnificent strawberry moon watched over them. But barely anyone noticed. 

I couldn't help wondering if the moon, once worshipped across continents, was offended at this blatant disregard. Well, even if the moon started making faces out of indignation, not many of us would be able to see it. After all, we don't look at the moon nowadays. 

Why would we? The moon hasn't quite kept up. Even in this on-demand world, it doesn't guarantee to stare back every time we stare at the night sky. Googling the time of moonrise doesn't help much either because she can coquettishly decide to draw upon a veil of cottony clouds.

This sweet game of hide-and-seek once turned out to be a real test of patience for me. On a full moon night, I rotated my head round and round the Chattogram sky but the moon didn't look back at me. Not even a sidelong glance. Meanwhile, my friends continuously snapped a gorgeous moon reclining on cushiony clouds against the Dhaka sky. 

The moon manifesting differently in different fragments of the sky adds to her charming unpredictability. Contrasted against the solar months, which we have standardised by counting 30 and 31 on our knuckles, lunar months are whimsical. This whim is displayed on the 29th of Ramadan when many fasting Muslims are left at the mercy of the moon. Sighting the crescent sliver is so tough that we have conveniently delegated the task to the crescent sighting committee. But even the professionals have a hard time. 

The moon's impractical mysteriousness, coupled with our lack of time and attention for such mystery, is reducing it to a concern of the poets and astronomers only. But I think we should look at the moon, not just on Eid or eclipse, but as often as possible. 

Waiting for the moon in a state of uncertainty is an experience worth seeking in a world that is constantly trying to decrease the waiting time. The unpredictability of the moon brings us closer to ourselves because our lives, despite all modern assurances, are still unpredictable. 

My balcony and rooftop have witnessed my hours of wait. In the stroke of a serendipitous moment, all of it felt worth it. I saw the moon set at dawn. I saw the night and day merged into one another as the sun rose in the eastern sky and the moon set in the western, simultaneously. The pleasure was a pure one. One that is vain to be written or read about.

Moments like this are what we miss out when we face away from the moon in stadium road. While the moon hangs like a pearl against the black sky, it beckons our hearts to bathe and our souls to sip. We ought to heed the moon. We ought to look at it. 

Noushin Nuri is an early bird fighting the world to maintain her sleep schedule. She's on Instagram as @noushinnurii