I was waiting for this night from weeks. They had put up the posters in the school hallway and I gazed at them until the bell rang and Samantha came out of the class and dragged me to play hide and seek.
The thing was that some people dealing with astronomy had organized a star-gazing program on Friday night. They said we will see stars and planets up close. They will get an instrument called telescope. It was similar to binoculars, only bigger and modern. I had started crossing out days on the calendar my mom had put up in my room. Samantha was equally thrilled but she didn’t stare at pictures of stars for hours like me. Mrs. Cassie had also said that we can ask questions to them after the gazing. I had a list ready. I wondered why there were so many stars and only one sun, why they never come down on earth. I wondered why the sun was everyday at same distance and never came closer to the earth.
So on Thursday night, I was so restless that I couldn’t sleep and Dada came twice in my room warning me that I will feel sleepy on the actual night. That scared me, and I closed my eyes tighter hoping that would help. But anxiety ruled over and it was 1:00 am when i finally lost and sleep took over.
On Friday after school, i ran at my house, ate a bowl of snacks and gulped the juice and got ready. I called at Samantha’s place and she answered and said that she was ready too. We had to do some research before we arrived at school in the night. We googled “telescope” on Samantha’s computer and tried to read all about it. Most of the stuff was difficult to understand, but I saw some pictures of the Saturn and Mars and was thrilled.
It was dawn and I got goosebumps. I wondered will the Saturn feel excited if he knew school kids were gonna watch him tonight? He better look good! We both ran and reached near the school playground where the entire event was happening. The teaching staff and my classmates were there, buzzing. The teachers made us sit on chairs put up on the ground while the astronomy crew arrived and were busy setting up the telescope. Me and Samantha eyed each other, our hearts almost popping out.
We all sat on the ground in a circle, enveloping the crew and the telescope. The crew introduced themselves and ran us through a brief guide about the telescope. They also explained the planets and few stars which we were familiar with and about the days and timings during which the planets are clearly visible through the telescope. “I will take up your questions after the observation!” The guy spoke and i looked at Mrs. Cassie who beamed at me. I squeezed Samantha’s hand and she smiled.”We are here!” She said.
And then as the clock ticked, the astronomy guy made us stand in a queue, and one by one we were allowed to peep through the telescope. As my turn came and i eyed through the lens and almost skipped a heart beat at the sight. There it was: the Saturn, bright-red. I changed the angle of the telescope and gazed at stars and was spell-bound. I wanted to have a look at everything! and went in a trance afterwards and didn’t even see Samantha going next…
30 years later..
I looked at the planet, through the spacecrafts window. It was a beautiful sight. I felt the warm rush of blood in my heart and couldn’t help smiling. It was just like the old times. “Found you!” I said. “You have kept me waiting for so long…. Even Samantha gave up on you…she is among the stars now…So you two must have met often but one thing i have to say…..You look great in person! “.