"When stars are in the quiet skies,
Then most I pine for thee"Lord Edward Bulwer-Lytton
The Coldest Days of the Year have arrived in Manipal and several mornings now I have woken up with my sinuses so stuffed with snot and my cranium so airy I felt like my head is hovering several feet off my shoulders. I leak like a faucet in a third-world budget hotel, and two mornings ago, while shivering in the lukewarm stream of my wake-up shower, I discovered (almost in screaming horror) that a bright red rivulet was running down my chest and to regions yet uncharted. Apparently, I also leak like a faucet in a third-budget hotel right after a slasher victim got dumped into the tanks. Gayathri said it was because my nasal mucosa parched up from the cold and dryness.
But the good news is, the last of the monsoon storm clouds have buggered off. We have found the sky once more.
After a series of events leading from the time I left the basketball court at Sharada (where our men killed Batch 17) yesterday night, involving a very random phone call and a late supper I should have known better to eat, I found myself walking though the frigid, hilly darkness of End Point with a friend I never knew I had.
I don't know what made me look up, but I did - and I stood agape at the myriad of stars that winked back down on me. I have never seen so many in my life before, and I felt myself shrink into a tiny animal inside. Everything they say about how the infinite and bare cosmos would reduce a person to insignificance - I guess they were right. For a fraction of a fraction of a second, I thought I've been scattered to the breeze and blown through the dewy golden grass down the hill and all over the endless Indian plains below. For a fraction of a fraction of a second, I have stopped existing. I have lost myself to heaven and the night.
I guess I was just too metropolitan, living all my life in the blinding man-made light of the city, of street lamps and tasteless strings of decorative bulbs which have usurped my stars. I always knew they were there, beyond the noise of electric illumination - but they were just too easy to forget. And I have always been too scared to traipse around after hours in places people with evil intentions can rob me, stab me and left me for dead. I never knew just how much I've missed.
But yesterday at End Point, walking on a long black road bordered on both sides by the wilderness, so quiet I could hear each grain of sand scraping between the soles of my shoes and the ground, and so dark I could barely see my hands - I wasn't afraid at all. I found them. I found the stars again.
And God, they were so damn beautiful.
k0k s3n w4i