MIDWAY: Stargazing

Whenever I can, I take some time out and walk up to the terrace at night to observe the serenity and beauty of the sky. I call it luck, as it is a rare privilege for a school-going adolescent to find time for anything besides homework, projects and studies.

As I lie back and look up, I can see a black dome overhead, covering everything. Scattered on it are little twinkling dots, some bright white, some bluish and some hazy red.

I try to figure out the different constellations — Orion the Hunter, the Cygnus, the Cetus, the Aquila, the Lyra. But no great shakes at astronomy, I can’t recognise any. So I end up inventing some.

And again, there is always the thrill of gaining the “first” star. The most wonderful and soothing leisure it is to sit on the terrace, with melodious music for company, wind for a playmate, and the celestial enigma for entertainment.

I lie on my back and stare at the moon, letting my imagination run wild. Perhaps that little dot over there is Krypton and perhaps Superman is watching over Earth even right now. A stray bird or two wander among the tall trees.

The trees themselves, seeming enlarged by the moonlight, stand like sentinels of the night. Bats and owls, the reigning sounds of the night as well as birds of prey, whoosh past, foraging for food. An occasional outburst of light and sound announce a flying airplane. Bon voyage, people!

The inky blackness engulfing me denotes it’s time for bed but I am not ready to give in. Not yet. Seldom do I get a chance like this to sit by myself, without the usual hassles and household disturbances.

Seldom do I get an opportunity to converse with myself and reflect upon the happenings of the day. Seldom do I get to go over my actions and their consequences. I feel the radiant, silver orb is smiling down at me, saying “The world is your oyster, find your pearl.” I smile smugly as I think of my reply.

Oh no, I’m after something much bigger. The dark tresses decked with twinkling ornaments, the soothing breath of the wind, the tranquillity, the nocturnal creatures, I am going to share these with nobody. Let the world remain in deep slumber. The sky at night is all mine!