Thursday, August 16, 2012


You have probably felt lost looking up at an inky black, starlit sky sometime in your life; probably thought about how comically meaningless your chance of a lifetime on this earth is. For me, it is both a humbling and an inspiring feeling. The human race throughout its history and across cultures has obsessed with the sky; catalogued, mapped and segmented it with known shapes forming the various constellations. And that has not diminished its magic any. Despite the seeming endlessness, one can hardly ever get bored looking at the night sky! Something in us responds to its grandeur with speechless awe. Some believe that forces from the heavens shape our very life and fate on this earth. Regardless of belief, I obsess with all types of legends of the skies.

My earliest memory of the night sky has a hero. It is the constellation Orion, also known as the Hunter, or the Kalpurush in my part of the world. Its most recognizable feature is the three stars in a row at the Hunter’s hip that form a perfect belt. It is visible on the night sky throughout the world. Interestingly because of its positioning, this constellation is expected to be recognizable long after every other constellation has been distorted into new formations due to the continual shifting of the earth relative to the stars. Countless times I have tried to capture the glint of the stars and their ethereal twinkle on my camera. But alas! But I am glad in a sense. Glad that this experiential wonder that is the night sky remains entirely experiential for me.

Recently I saw the Saturn with the aid of a sophisticated telescope with an apochromatic lens and refractive design, I was told; more beautiful than the image I had of it in my mind from countless books and glossy magazines. Magnificent with its veil of rings! And right there before me in the sky. I have taken to lying on my back in the dark with a pair of binoculars these days. Someday I'll own a powerful telescope and scope out this vast wonder bequeathed to me. For now I live with the allure of the twinkle.. specially potent in remote corners, far from the light poluted city skies!