eclipse, brain damage

April 22, 2016

What would one do, oh what will one do, if a beautiful event, that doesn’t happen or come-by often times (because it is such a rare exhilarating thing) – just happens to happen near one’s very doorsteps?

If such a thing happens, you would expect that people would get out of their couches and rush out, yeah? You would assume that they would soak in the whole environment, taking in everything that the event has to offer, drink of its delicate probabilities and be overcome with the immense feeling of humility that a grand celestial event would naturally warrant…

WRONG. Sorry. HTTP 404.


Actually, many folks would instead, prefer to rot in front of their idiotic TV sets blankly watching the TV coverage of the event by various ‘breaking noose’ channels, pouting statistics and breaking air through anus… Sorry.

This is what happened on 15th January, for the poor partial solar eclipse – at least in Bangalore!

Obviously, the self appointed eclipse-experts and protectors of people had managed to persuade millions of folks who possibly were in the path-of-totality (and many more that were not exactly on the path, such as Bangaloreans) into relinquishing perhaps the only chance of their life to experience the beauty and awe of this stellar event! Sad.

That day was a holiday, at least in Bangalore, for Makara Sankaranthi. And isn’t this suppose to be the celebration of a grand celestial event, in any case? Doesn’t this herald the onset of Spring in India, the transition of the Sun into Capricorn?


…I had planned to visit a few folks on that day, but I was very wary of images of the impending traffic, that were forever floating up. But, lo and behold, the roads were all deserted. No traffic-jam whatsoever!

We were armed with a couple of x-ray sheets & UV proof black glass-sheets – and every few minutes we parked our vehicle, rushed out and saw the unfolding of the grand scene.

Very peaceful and vaguely melancholic. Earlier in the day, we had watched the dramatic pin-hole camera images of the crescent sun, by merely looking at the play of light of the sun under the shadow of the  giving trees in our orchard. Fantastic.

However, the relatives who we wanted to visit, were all huddled up in front of their freakin’ TV sets, while hermetically sealing their homes off from the ill and evil effects and harmful rays and what not of the poor and much misunderstood eclipsed sun.

They would not answer the doorbell immediately because they were watching the eclipse so intently on TV or because they thought the evil effects of the sun will waft in through the crack in the door, if they open it carelessly, whatever!

Some other relatives were busy watching films of their favourite pilim-stars or were doing random rituals to ward off the evil effects (of course, without understanding even an iota of what they were mumbling and doing) – some of them were even actively twiddling their thumbs and were pacifying their growling stomachs, since they had not eaten anything from the morning! Oh, the aggravation

In their bathrooms, the water heaters / geysers were switched on so that right after the eclipse, they could quickly go and take a ritual bath and eat some freshly prepared food. And, may be later they would ‘see’ some random expert talking about the eclipse, on their favourite TV channel…

But then, I heard later that, many other friends and acquaintances from across the Jathi / Religious spectra, alas, also seemed to have had the same attitude towards the grand spectacle… one of fear, that is! I wonder — may be, the eclipse does have a deleterious effect on the brains of many folks, after all…

Intermediated experiences are oh so surreal, but sometimes, they are also belly-achingly  hilarious!

Leave alone science and scientific temper and religious practices and rituals and what not – many of these folks don’t even understand what they are afraid of, and what they should be afraid of (such as TV). Nor do they even seek to understand the principles behind the rituals – and the meditative & affirmative aspects of them.

What freakin’ automatons!


But, the world is NOT ending, as the following mesmerizing photographs shot by Thekambattu folks, tell us. All is really well. The tree foliages have acted as incredible pin-hole cameras… capturing the images of the eclipsed Sun, at various times… cho chweet!

Photos shared with the permission of folks from Thekambattu. Thanks!  More photos at their Picasa Album.

PS: Probably Pink Floyd realized it looong back that, eclipse is always followed (or accompanied) by brain damage. These two are incidentally, songs from their album ‘The Dark Side Of The Moon.” Now I know why so many folks react they way they do, during eclipse! LOL!!

PPS: How can I let go of the opportunity! Of course erdkinder (=adolescents in Montessoriese) and I, had fun learning a whole lot of things about the solar eclipse, such is their lot.

I am sure, my children will develop into fantastic individuals and responsible citizens. I am hopeful that while they would continue to respect our traditions, they would also be very resilient & open to great discoveries and inventions; and that they would continue to respectfully ask relevant questions and constantly strive to get acceptable answers… That they would not only be mentally agile, but also be physically so.

I am excited that I am doing my lil’ bit to keep their brains alive, exposing them to the delights of life – literature, science, math and history. Especially history.

I love my children. I love myself even more.


JournalEntry# January 27, 2010

roughcut ideas, opinions & notes on education

4 Responses to “eclipse, brain damage”

  1. Chandru Says:

    Thanks Anna..
    for sharing wonderful photos and your thoughts..
    Need to sit with my grade5 daughter discussing this to educate myself first.

  2. Sridhar Says:

    Dear Ram

    Thanks for sharing the wonderful pictures from Thekambattu.

    But what’s the purpose of italics for “fresh” food? I like fresh food everyday, for every meal. In general we all, are for fresh food and accept not-so-fresh food only to avoid wasting excess food.

    Is there a systematic study on effects of eclipse on human mind, body, enzymes in the lines of clinical trial reports like (A lot of such research conclusions are driven by beliefs and motives, but let’s try to be positive about the approach.) A casual ridicule isn’t expected of a sincere scientific mind!

    I wish you could inspire a few, to objectively study Indian belief systems. Without such studies we end up with ridicules as above or statements like “வேதத்திலேயே சொல்லியிருக்கு / சயன்ஸே சொல்லுது”. I’m sure there is a path in between to reject/justify such belief systems.

    I think, with an objective mind we should be able to identify the origins of such beliefs and how much of them are worth accepting and otherwise.

    • Dear Sridhar,

      I agree with your take. All points taken. Will read your reco later though.

      What I meant by ‘fresh’ food was that – they began cooking food only after the rituals were over. I was already very hungry. But, they did not allow me to cook a quickmeal either! So, I was annoyed. Royally peeved. Sorry.

      …I wrote my original offending post some 5 years back – and have more or less been working with the attitude of enquiry (coupled with a well deserved respect for the traditions), I think. (For a school that I have been working with for the past several months, we have been struggling with the idea of integrating our indic traditional wisdom, sciences, attitudes and much else – with the new ways of knowing. But a LOT remains to be done.)

      ISTR that, a few weeks back when we met and were talking about many things, this topic also cropped up.

      Hmm… I would say that the recent book in Tamil – by Santhinidevi Ramasami and Aravindan Neelakandan (=இந்திய அறிதல் முறைகள் / கிழக்கு பதிப்பகம்) is a solid first step in the correct direction. Strongly recommended.

      I have read it once front to back, and then back to front – so two times already; will scribble my notes about it.

      Ars longa, vita brevis, what else!

மேற்கண்ட பதிவு (அல்லது பின்னூட்டங்கள்) குறித்து (விருப்பமிருந்தால்) உரையாடலாமே...

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