In India we believe that any spiritual or religious journey you undertake, can not be over without its own trials and tribulations. For instance, when people of all ages and sizes trek for 28 kms (both ways) to pay their tributes to “Maa Vaishno Devi” or when they stand in that never ending queue in “Thirupati”… no darshan is easy… you have to face a lottttttt of trials and hardships before God appears in front of you!

My dad always says, “If you really want something in life, you have to work towards it.. There is no substitute for hardwork… Tapasya karoge to hi fal milega (Roughly translated: If you will slog, only then will you reap benefits)”. Back then, this is how he used to motivate us to study harder…

And all these words have, time and again, proven their worth!

The latest example was yesterday’s Karva Chauth. A friend of mine, K, came over to our place. She was also fasting. We spent the day doing bakar, watching movies… And then she left, as it was time for her husband to come back from work. And I started waiting for Noobie to come. By the time he came, which was around 7 PM, I was already preparing dinner… He announced on arrival

According to the Singapore weather department, the Moon will rise only by 930 PM

That was a jolt! You are used to Moon rises around 7-8 PM in India 😦 And one of the challenges of living in a high rise is that you are surrounded by tall buildings and hence, the sky view is quite limited. From our house, we can not see the Moon… Anyways, we finished making dinner and then the wait started… The seconds seemd like hours… This is what happened after that…

8:15 PM

Noobie is beginning to get restless. He is refusing to touch food. Even his favorite wadas cant tempt him today. The foodie that he is, I could understand how difficult it was for him to do that.

Noobie: Let me go down and see if I can see the Moon. Its already dark.
Me: Oh!! Well ok… But, please go alone.. I am in no condition to walk so much..
The poor guy takes off…

8:25 PM

Noobie walks back with a disappointed look on his face. I pester him to eat something. He flatly refuses! Goes to his favorite seat on the couch and starts surfing the TV.

8:45 PM

I get a call from a friend, N, who is also fasting and stays on the other end of Singapore. She wants to know if I can see the Moon yet. I tell her the weather forecast prediction. We sigh and go back to sulking.

8:50 PM

Noobie gets up, as if out of slumber.

Noobie: You know what? The Moon should be out by now. Let me go take a look.

I protest at this… By the time I am finished talking, I see the door closing! Sigh!

9:05 PM

He walks back in… and this time is visibly flustered!

Noobie: It is such a cloudy night! How do you expect anyone to see Moon tonight?

9:15 PM

I propose that I get ready and we go down with the entire preparation of the Pooja and then as soon as we see the Moon, I can break my fast.

9:25 PM

Noobie is moving about the little garden in our condo, trying to spot the Moon. His continous strolls made me realise he was probably as eagerly awaiting the arrival of the Moon, as I was! Or maybe even more 🙂

9:45 PM

Noobie: Can you see how cloudy the night is? How can you expect to see the Moon tonight? I will not surprised if there is no Moon tonight. Why dont we go back and you break your fast? There is no other alternative.
Nova: Yes, but you remember we were walking down that road next to our condo, the other day and we had seen the Moon. Let us go on that road, or maybe even the park nearby to get a good view of the sky.

Noobie reluctantly agrees to go check it out.

9:50 PM

We are walking by and there is no sign of the Moon. Forget the Moon, there is not a single star in the sky. I sigh! Of all the nights, this had to be one night when it is so cloudy, you cant spot a single celestial object! I start praying to “Chanda mama” to come out and not torture us more… 😛

10:10 PM

We are in the park now and straining our necks to get the whole view of the sky. Thats when I spotted something glowing behind the clouds… I waited and waited… and turned out it was a star! This gave me hope 🙂

Nova: Hey did you see that? Its a star! Yay! 🙂 Its a good sign. M sure we will see the Moon if we wait just a little longer.
Noobie: Oh! Good.. now that you have seen the star, you can break your fast and we can go home.. After all, they are all celestial bodies [hmmmpfff!!]
Nova: Oh no! Thats the worst case scenario. Let us please wait.

10:20 PM

My neck is now craning with all the trying-to-spot the Moon thing! Noobie is strolling restlessly. I call up N to find out – Nothing! I call up another person I know and she says she is also waiting for the Moon to rise! And apparently, the Moon rises around 1030-11. I convince Noobie to hang on for just a little longer! 🙂

10:35 PM

My hope is beginning to dim now. I call up my Mom in desperation. Asking her what has to be done in case the Moon does not come up at all. She scolds me first on why I have been torturing myself and Noobie by staying hungry until 1030. When I tell her that the Moon may come up by 11, she tells me to hold on till then.

10:45 PM

I speak to N again. She is beginning to give up all hope. I speak to another friend called S. She is also waiting and waiting, not hopeful of Moon coming out any sooner… But, I am determined to wait! At least until 1130. Noobie, being a sweetheart he is, agrees to do so 🙂

To kill time, we start watching FRIENDS on our iTouch.

11:10 PM

I see a message from N that says

Hey I can see a part of the coulds lit up.. Quite high up in the sky

I run to the park and see nothing… Noobie is also on his toes looking for some sign. He shouts out my name and says “Here it is”… I run up to him and see… the beautiful image of the Moon hiding behind the clouds. It was almost like he was playing “Hide and seek” with us 🙂

Oh! It was THE most beautiful sight! 🙂

I quickly finished my prayers and could not stop looking at the Moon. It was like I was rejuvenated! 🙂 I was jumping up and down in glee 🙂 Made a few calls informing people of the spectacle 😀 Thanked N for all the company and support… All the way back home, I could not stop looking at the Moon.

I can still vividly remember what it looked like. Oh! It has never been so beautiful! 🙂 Every inch of it was worth the wait 🙂