We had just reshipped to our home back in Mangalore after my father was transferred from Shimoga, Karnataka. The home was built for my father after his marriage. It was a roof in the middle of small plants, trees and steep hills. There was no neighbourhood, no one to talk to nor anyone to even look at. My parents had lived there for about 2-3 years until he got transferred to Bangalore. I have had vague memory of my crawling days in the house. Uncle, dad’s younger brother was staying with us while dad would be away. .
We reached the house early while the furnitures and other materials were still on the way getting transported. Uncle Ravi, dad’s youngest of the three brothers was to take care of it. Little brother and I were running across the dim-lit hall and talking out loudly so the furnitureless room echoed back from every nook and corner. Cousin sister, who lived in the neighbouring town had come over to accompany us. While Mom prepared dinner inside, dad insisted we go out, sit in the wintry weather for sometime until the dinner gets ready. Dad rolled out the mat in the ground, all of us sat. There were too many stars in the sky, which we all kept gazing at. He told us stories of stars and planets, the different patterns of them and of everything that was happening in the sky that night. My eyes were all on the twinkling bodies in the night sky while ears all on his tales on them. .
I asked him,’ how are stars different from planets?’
‘The ones that shine brightly are stars and the ones that don’t relatively are planets.’ .
We continued, stargazing, hearing stories and knowing the night of that day.