Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Went star-gazing last week. No, I don’t mean hanging around the JW Marriott hotel in Juhu watching spaghetti strapped maidens and tight T-shirt clad hunks. We went to Karjat (for the non-Mumbaikars, that’s a village about a 100 km from Mumbai) to watch some specks in the sky. No real reason to go - had nothing to do for the weekend and my credit card had this offer going (for a fee, of course!). Also, a friend had come from Bangalore and we had to show him that Mumbaikars had all kinds of cool options to choose from.

So there we went, around 9:30 PM on a Saturday night, when logic said we should have been drinking the night away. Ah well, logic was for another night, we were out to romance the stars (hmmm, wrong context, but is there any other way I could romance the stars?!). Anyways, at around 11:30, as we were stuck in some truly awesome traffic at Panvel (f. t. non-M., outskirts of Mumbai – where you can start breathing oxygen again), my Bangalore friend, sweat dripping, turned around (it took some doing, mind you, given the seats were designed by a deranged psychopath specializing in slow killing) and said with real wonder, man, you guys stay out real late. Yup, I grimaced, Mumbaikars stay up late, just the wrong people at the wrong place.

We finally made it out of the midnight jam, and made it upto Karjat, where in the middle of nowhere, we stopped. Thinking that it was a good time to make for the fields before the bandits arrived, we were about to exit stage left, when the guide announced that we had reached our destination. We had come to a field near Karjat village, where we laid down some styrofoam mats and parked ourselves. The guide, who was from the Nehru planetarium, then took us through a few constellations for the next two hours.

Our greatest learning was that our ancestors were tripping on some seriously crazy stuff to have seen what they did in the stars. Yeah, look at ol’ Leo and tell me you see a lion there – and I should probably ask you what weed you’re smoking. Anyways, a few crazy constellations past, the cloud cover decided to put paid to our night out plans. We decided to wait the clouds out, but it proved to be quite useless – the clouds had the last laugh, and we left at around 3:30 to get back home by 5 AM.

Even with the cloud cover and the bad ride, it was just fabulous to be out there. The dense silence and the pitch blackness of the night in the middle of a field was just what the doctor ordered for my city-dwelling self. I cannot begin to explain what a great feeling it was just to be there, sitting and soaking in the surroundings – till I got pelted by the rest of my group, and came back to reality and making enough noise to disturb the still of the night. People, do try to go if you can – it’s just a great experience – you, the stars and a field in the middle of nowhere.


Anonymous zahra.. said...

hi does nehru planetarium hold star gazing trips?? email me on yumyzahra@yahoo.com.. thanks!

9:49 PM  

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