First in high school and then in college my favourite time was summer. Now those who have ever visited Gwalior in summer must have by now determined that I am a pukka nut case. Gwalior can be really hot. Really, really hot. So hot that in summer we had to sleep on the roof under open sky. Sleeping inside the house was like sleeping inside a furnace.
Sleeping on roof tops gave a little bit of relief, especially when there was gentle wind. But only a little. I would lay with a radio transistor near my ear, listening to old Hindi film songs and staring at the skies above. The nights were usually cloudless and suddenly, as if by magic, the Milky Way would be visible. And though I knew exactly what that strip of fuzzy stars was, it used to amaze me every single time.
But even more interesting were the man-made satellites that shone like little stars but made its way across the sky at a steady pace. I would follow their course till they disappeared from my sight.
Time passed. I am now in Bangalore. It is no longer possible to see the night sky. There is so much city light. And in any case, nights in Bangalore are very pleasant and without proper precaution, one could catch a cold.
So all my sons know are a few constellation, like the very distinct Orion and Ursa Minor, and Mars and Jupiter and Venus. That's about all. I have still not been able to create my childhood magic for them. And that has been my biggest failing as a father so far.