On New Year's Eve, we had the opportunity to see a lunar eclipse and the second full moon of a calendar month, otherwise known as a 'blue moon'. I missed it.
On the 15th of January, we shall see the millenium's longest-lasting annular solar eclipse. As per the article (http://www.sciencemaldives.org/2009/12/ten-minutes-of-perspective) on the Maldives Science Society site, the Maldives is the best location to watch the eclipse as it will be visible for close to 11 minutes! Furthermore, they say this sight will be a feast for the eyes. Apparently if we are to choose to see just one eclipse within our lifetime, we wouldn't regret making this the one! And yes, I'll miss this too.
What can be more heartbreaking than to be in the right place, at the right time in two consecutive eclipses and yet have to miss out on the wonders, especially when it has to be so due to the beliefs of other people, none of which I myself share?
I am neither superstitious nor highly religious. And yet, the sole reason that I am not to see either of the eclipses is that there is a belief that when a pregnant woman sees the eclipse, it somehow results in the baby having some form of deformity.
Whenever there is an eclipse, I have to remain indoors upon the insistence of family (mine and my in-laws), who I respect, though I cannot disagree more with these customs and beliefs.
And that's not all. It doesn't just end with me staying cooped up at home. I have to lie down straight on the bed and not move a muscle. I have to refrain from touching any objects (especially knives, glass and other sharp-edged objects) or speaking or eating or drinking. At all costs, I should avoid mirrors. And the list goes on.
I did put up with it once, and stayed home on New Year's Eve. Admittedly, the fact that there was nothing much going on in Male' that night was of immense help! I have to confess though that I couldn't be all-abiding. I ended up curled up in bed reading a good book.
But what about the mid-January eclipse? Am I going to give that up too to pacify someone else?
I haven't decided yet, but I probably will. Although I feel the superstitions are doubtlessly stupid, I don't think it's worth insulting my mom and my husband's family by openly rejecting them.
Sigh. As I said, this sucks.