On one of those random chats I used to do with him, only because I knew that he prefers the road less traveled, did I ask him if he believed in the stars. He replied by saying something that I did not even care to listen. I was lost into one of those nights when stars were my best company. They covered me when I slept under the big black sky. They prevented me from getting lost into the wilderness of the infinity. I felt protected under them. No matter how much I wanted it to be real again somewhere inside me I knew it was some long lost dream. I wanted to be there again where I once spent my nights praying every time that the day shall never break.
It was somewhere in these moments that I decided to rewrite my star lit memories once again. I decided to bring forth the night once again where only stars would demand my attention.
I slyly asked him to join me in my uncooked plan and he instantly agreed to become partner in my sweet crime.
Very soon we met. It was the first time I saw him. It was also the first time that he saw me. Amongst that crowd on a bus stand road our eyes met from across the road.
Very soon we hopped on to a bus. The driver drove past the busy streets of Pune, rode on the forest roads and soon ascended a hill. Only after a few miles it reached Surya Shibir, a jungle resort standing aloof overlooking the city lights that were shining at a faraway distance.
It was almost dark when we reached the hilltop. My friends, my soul mates, my protectors were just about to be with me in no time. I could gauge a brightly lit dark night. I could imagine everything in front of my eyes; I lying down in the middle of the unpaved road, staring starkly at those stars and finding patterns out of them that only I could see.
While he on the other hand was not anticipating anything because he wanted to see them as they were, he wanted to flow with the flow and believe in them as he saw them.
True that now we city dwellers do not catch the glimpse of the star spread as easily as we used to do in our childhood. But nothing really seems to be changed about them over the years. For someone like me who believes in the beauty of the stars, stars never change. I think it is only the perspective that belongs differently to each one.
He started enjoying them because he saw me staring and smiling at them. I enjoyed them because I was in his company while he smiled at them. We did not wish to look at each other, we only wished to look at those twinkling lights which were most empty yet the most powerful.
They made us talk about the emptiness of our own lives. We knew of each other’s presence but at the same time we also knew that this will not be the same forever.
Is it only these stars that remain the same forever?
Surely/ it was not going to be the same for us. Day would break and we would head home.
Now every time when I think of that night, my memories with him get alive. It was with him that my star lit night shone brighter. We knew each other once. Today we know each other better. Did the stars build that bond between us?
Well, I cannot agree more. It was the stars that brought us together and it was with him that I had a new set of my starlit memories. An enriching experience of an empty life.
I met him quite a few times after that trip. We always had something or the other to remember about our starry starry night on that hill. Those smiles lasted much longer than that night. Those stellar memoirs got embedded somewhere inside us and they literally light up our eyes when we go back in time and come back to the present only to plan another star studded night sometime soon.