While space scientists can continue their exploration of the moon and establish more communication links with the cool-light planet, I along with most of us of the Indian heritage were told in very early childhood that the guy up there in the sky is a close relative from the mother side. He was referred to as Chanda-mama, to be precise Chanda uncle.
In fact, as we were growing up, we were introduced to a very popular children magazine, I believe it is still around, called Chandamama. It was an easy read comic magazine dealing with ancient Indian folklore.
Moon has a very special spot in the Indian social and cultural scene as well as in the Hindu mythology. For the Indian film industry, moon is more than a shiny twilight dish.
For the poets, it is an object of love, witness to the loving relationship, beauty, imagination, a messenger between two lovers, etc., etc. The film Chaudivan Ka Chand immediately comes to my mind. Its theme song ‘Chaudivan Ka Chand ho ya aftab ho’ is still popular even after more than 50 years of film’s release.
And then there are many Hindi film songs where uncle Chand is prominently featured. “Dum bar jo audhar moon phere oh chanda, main tum se pyar kar loongi, Chalo dildar chalo chand ke paar chalo, Na yeh Chand hoga na taare rahenge magar hum hamesha tumhare rahenge, Chand phir nikla magar tum naa aaye, Khoya khoya Chand khula aasman, Chanda re mori patiyan le ja, patiyan le ja, sajan ko pahocha de re, Chand aahein bharega, phool dil tham lenge, Chanda re chanda re kabhi to zameen par aa baithenge baatein karenge.”
These are some of the oldies which come to my mind, but there are many more where the moon is the main character in the imaginative lines of Hindi film lyricists.
Well, one day when man can comfortably visit the moon, we can replay these songs up there to the delight of our Chanda-mama.