floating through space

Listen to Interstellar OST as you read this.

As the hour approached, the young boy shouldered his schoolbag and made his way down the stairs. His friends awaited him three stories below, their bicycles ready. During the long summer break, he had eagerly flipped through the pages of the new textbooks, his eyes fixated on the captivating, crude black-and-white line drawings that adorned the science book.

The group of boys reached their classroom, a familiar space that would be their home for the next academic year. Among them, the boy found his place in the second row, occupying the middle column bench. It was his designated spot for the year.

Just as the anticipation settled in, Miss Kusum gracefully entered the classroom for their first science lesson. Dressed in a deep green sari with delicate gray patterns, she wore round spectacles with thin metallic frames. Her slender figure radiated grace and warmth. Unlike the other teachers that day, she urged the students to put away their textbooks and listen.

With a warm smile gracing her lips, Miss Kusum embarked on her storytelling journey. Her voice carried a melodic tone, drawing the young mind in. As she spoke of the extraordinary creation known as the Voyager spacecraft, the boy’s imagination ignited like a flickering flame. Vivid images danced before his mind’s eye, painting a vibrant tapestry of the spacecraft, the planets, and the limitless wonders of the universe. The walls of the classroom melted away, replaced by the vast expanse of a mysterious and captivating darkness, where celestial bodies twinkled like distant beacons. The boy found himself floating amidst the cosmos, it was as if he stood beneath a vast, star-studded sky, where countless dots of light twinkled like celestial beacons.

Miss Kusum described how the Voyager had been meticulously built by humans, a product of tireless effort, unwavering dedication, and absolute genius. It was launched into space with a mission to explore the planets. The boy’s mind raced with excitement as he envisioned the spacecraft journeying through the solar system, capturing stunning images of distant worlds. Saturn, with its majestic rings, would be the Voyager’s next destination, followed by Uranus, Neptune, and even Pluto.

The boy was enthralled, transported to a realm where scientific discovery knew no bounds. The spacecraft traveled through the vastness of space, venturing far beyond the planets. Miss Kusum explained that it would eventually escape the confines of the solar system, venturing into interstellar space. The boy marveled at the idea of a machine venturing where no human had gone before, witnessing sights that had never been seen.

As Miss Kusum concluded her tale, the classroom gradually brightened, returning the boy to reality. Science, she proclaimed, was the pursuit of such remarkable knowledge and the ability to create marvels like the Voyager spacecraft. The rest of the class proceeded with the mundane contents of the first chapter in the textbook.

That was remembrance of a day from my childhood. I often think of this day. I do not remember the exact words of the teacher, but it captures my feelings well.

That single story shared by Miss Kusum had a profound impact on me, leaving a lasting impression that has shaped my life. It sparked a deep curiosity within me, driving my fascination with the mysteries of the universe. I vividly recall buying many issues of the magazine called “Safari”. From then on, I used to tell everyone “I want to be a scientist!” on every opportunity.

Looking back now, that story remains one of my most cherished childhood memories.