Tales Under the Stars

Sky

 

No matter how frequently or seldom one travels, it never ceases to amaze me how exciting and memorable that could get. It creates an opportunity to learn and observe with eyes wide open. The consequential travel anecdotes concocted thereafter, are always memorable. One such memorable experience of mine was at Grand Teton National Park and another one at Mac Donald Observatory. Back from exploring the beauty of Grand Teton’s mountains and lakes, I was sitting right outside my rustic log cabin shortly after dinner, gazing at the ethereally beautiful night sky, full of stars. That moment was magical.

Years later, a visit to the Mac Donald Observatory brought back the opportunity to look at stars using telescopes. I remember gazing three of them at once. Amongst them, the guide informed, the ones close to each other were Mizar A and Mizar B and the distant third one was Alcor. The brightest star viewed with naked eye, pointed another guide, was Blue Star. Magic moment relived.

I often catch myself smiling at the slightest flash of these beautiful moments. They bring joy, excitement, the quest to know more, and most importantly, memories. Beautiful memories of bedtime stories, stories at the dinner table, stories narrated at  terrace under the stars. Gradually, those stories from my remembrance became the nook of respite. The narrators who were grandparents, parents and aunts always had all the time in the world to spin a yarn of anecdotes for all the children. Not just stories, but some could actually talk about the pattern of stars and the ways to observe them. Sometimes, when siblings got together counting stars, the older ones always took pride when they outnumbered the others.

Grandparents often told us about their parents being stars in the sky and that they were always looking out for us. Light years seemed not-so-distant when great grandparents were stars.

The very thought of those insouciant days creates a corner of respite in my mind. Days before television broadcasted reality shows, dramas and sitcoms incessantly, before gadgets took everyone over in it’s clutches, those were the days when yarns of tales seamlessly started spinning under the stars.

Don’t we all cherish those tales till date?

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Jumbled !!!

Everyone certainly agrees when I say there is nothing like a peaceful and sound sleep. I did enjoy such uninterrupted long hours of sleep,especially during the weekends until I found my first job. And when I look back into my golden days of school and college, I really wish life was always the same.Those days had everything that one could ask for sans worries. They were the days bundled with careless fun.The word boring did not exist in my dictionary.

We were in our final year of graduation. On a hot Friday afternoon during the summer vacation that year, my evening kick started at my best friend Sue’s . We spent the next few hours laughing and talking about not-so-meaningful and not-so-intellectual stuff  but  that made us happy. For instance, our discussion began with the visits to the zoo and how we hated the crocodiles and avoided the reptiles and amphibians area in the zoo. The discussion went haywire and finally ended about the irritating mosquito bites during our trip to a certain hill-station the previous summer. After a long chat, we decided to hop in to Someplace Else the same evening, to listen to Hip-Pocket (one of our favorite music band). We swayed to the tunes whilst sipping cranberry juice. For dinner, we moved to Mocambo (a well known restaurant), ordered sizzlers and Chicken A-la-Kiev (a signature Russian delicacy) and eventually wrapped the dinner with Baked Alaska. On our way back,we planned jogging by the nearby lake shore the next morning and burn calories that was accumulated at Mocambo and Someplace Else. I was home at around 10:30 pm that night.Back home, I was busy rushing through the fiction (that I recently started reading).It was roughly 11pm then. My sister was ready to doze off (as she was an early riser and was already late by then). While wishing her good night, I also mentioned about our plans to jog next morning and told her to join us.  She immediately agreed and I told her to wake me up (as I was a famous late riser). After some time  (I had no idea when), there was this TRING-TRING  on my cell phone. It was Sue again. She was asking if we could go to Someplace Else to hear Saturday Night Blues (the after 10pm musical band performance). I hurriedly got ready. After the event, we walked down to The Deli for its mouth-watering blueberry cheesecake. As I was just about to grab my first bite, a mosquito bit my thumb. I got this itching bump in a jiffy and consequently, dropped the cheesecake. Avenged by the mosquito’s audacity, we decided to stalk the insect. Stuck by the stubbornness of getting hold of the mosquito, we actually stalked it towards the lake shore.  Look at the audacity of the tiny insect that made us burn calories after it. Amidst all these, I suddenly realized Sue crying to get rescued. My attention was immediately diverted away from the mosquito and I looked back, only to catch a glimpse of Sue, who was then getting swallowed by a crocodile that was hidden somewhere on the shore. Alas! I could do nothing to save her. I was seeking assistance from the Area Wildlife Officer, who got the croc-hunters and they eventually had the croc spit my friend out. Along with my friend came a splash of water on my face.

I was clueless about whatsoever was going on. It was my sister complaining how her morning was wasted. She was angry and said she spared no means to wake me up. She switched off the air-conditioner first and then the ceiling fan, turned on the television, took away my pillow, and when nothing worked, she was left with no choice but splash water on my face. But it was 10 am by then. Up next, we all were seated across the dining table and I, after smelling the hot coffee, was wide awake narrating the entire music-mosquito-crocodile episode.  The episode in my dream, and that was nothing but a complete hotch-potch of  all my activities, discussions and imaginations. Hearing all these, my mother suggested that I drink lots of coconut water and eat less in the restaurants to cool off my system. Saturday morning was an explosion of  discussions and laughter at the breakfast table. It was only my sister who still had a long face as I escaped everyone’s scolding even after being a late riser 🙂

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