Imagine – there is a metal drum, the largest in the whole world, a giant round piece of metal, over two meters in height, made of bronze and it has fall down on this earth from the Moon! No one knows exactly how old the drum is, or how it actually got here, but we could predict it to be a thousand years ago, maybe even two. As the hand of a man at the time was probably not yet ready for acts as such, it is believed that the drum is a lost earring of a bull or a wheel of a Moon Goddess’ trolley.
The wheel fell down from the sky in Pejeng village, but it stayed hanging up in a tree and began to glow strangely. But one day a thief tried to get a hand on it, but as the luminosity of the magic wheel began hurting his eyes, he decided to empty the bladder onto the drum. So he took a piss on the drum, whereupon it lost its divine glow and turned green. A moment later, for an unknown reason, the thief died.
We’re trying to hide in a narrow shadow from the way-too-hot sun, having to admit that no flow of piss would erase this merciless luminous wheel in the skyline. There’s an ethnomusicologist lighting up a sigaret next to me – he’s studying the gongs – these amazing machines of humming sound, which ends each cycle in gamelan music. In each gong lives a spirit and of course all the gods. Sometimes the ghost plays the gong. So that you could sometimes hear from an empty gamelan classroom some chilly gongs. This gonging sound seems to represent the point of zero of their micro-universe. Gong. Gooong. Gooooong.
It is believed that the bronze drums were in the past even before gonge. These giant drums have so much holy in them, so that even if in theory we had the opportunity to play it, we still would not do it. Not that I very much believe in these things, but you never know…
Just in this side of the world there are so many ghosts, demons and gods, that from a mere curiosity I would never set a hand on some primordial luminous disk. Even when the guard of the Pura Penetaran Sasihi temple (pictured) haven’t heard much strange sounds from this drum, however one is clear – the drum is home to all Shiva, Brahma and Vishnu, and thus it has to stand for something powerful.