Me and my friends recently went on a weekend getaway to a nearby hill station, Ranakpur. Coming from Jodhpur, the place seemed dreamy. There were hills all around, not as high as the ones at my hometown in Uttarakhand, yet it was a treat to the eyes. There was a cascade of natural beauty unfolding at every step we took. Lakes, waterfalls, ancient temples, birds, lush green surroundings, good food, and colourful wild flowers spread all across. Astounding and breathtaking.
At night as we were strolling on the roof of our residence, we noticed the sky, with hundreds of twinkling stars all above us. It had been a while since I saw a clear night sky. Previously I was in Delhi, which is infamous for its pollution, so night sky could be best seen only on Google Earth. Later even since I am here in Jodhpur, watching a clear night sky with diamonds spread all over it, is something that I have not been able to satiate myself with. Reason being the dust in air, and more so being inundated with light pollution. It may sound odd, but on each of the no moon nights, I wish electricity could go away for half an hour, so I could immerse myself in the freckled sky. Anyway the wish eventually got realised in Ranakpur, with a clear night sky, reinforced with very limited light pollution.
I have one personal reason too for looking at the stars. I am one of those people who are always hopeful of getting to watch a shooting star. No, the idea didn’t prosper because of the dramatic scene from “Kuch kuch hota hai” movie, but I somehow believe in making my wish come true if I ask a shooting star for that. So as Nisha, Deepak Sir and me, were strolling, I said about my desire to see a shooting star out loud. To which Deepak Sir said, “ये पता है की मांगना क्या है टूटते तारे से?” And, there I was, eager to make a wish to a shooting star with no wish at all. Sounds strange and unprepared. But yes that’s where I have often caught myself, at temples, at other minor beliefs of mine, and also during a quiet stroll at night.
When I was small, I wanted good grades, some toys. Then at another stage, I wanted admission at a good institute. Then I wanted academic and scientific achievements. In between I wanted my personal life to be filled with love. Then it was completion of studies. Follwed by a good job. And looking back, I realise I have been getting everything that I wanted, even though there has been no shooting star, only me and some great people around. It is not that I think my life is complete now. Only heaven knows, and also Mukesh my husband I think, of all the things I wish for. Yet if someone asks to choose one, I am caught off-guard. Eventually all I ask for is a smart and empathetic brain. Probably if I could have made any other wish to the shooting star, it may have recited to me the poem of Ram Avtar Tyagi:
मन समर्पित, तन समर्पित
और यह जीवन समर्पित
चाहता हूँ देश की धरती तुझे कुछ और भी दूं।
- राम अवतार त्यागी