This post is going to be an absurd one, it is meant to be this way, you can decipher that from the image above. I was joined by j4v4m4n and $hrink in the Cafe’ house at around 19:00, we grabbed something to take with us for the star party(2 Balaji Chip Packets) and started off towards the bus, were Meha was waiting for us. However the bus did not leave until 20:00, a certain ‘abba’ refused to come on time even as the bus started off without him. The total head count when I boarded the bus was 48 making this the largest members star party ever (oldies of the club please correct me here if you have seen a larger crowd at a members star party). I don’t think anything of great interest took place on the bus while we went to Nasarapur (that is the place were we watch stars from) as I was falling in and out of sleep. If something interesting would have happened I am sure I would have woken up. Though there were a couple of things that did take place, which can be noted down in point format so as to avoid tormenting my already tiered finger.
- We picked up abba from the University bus stop.
- Abba was ranting about something …
- Mukesh thought it would be cool to distribute red cellophane paper to everyone. He looked like Santa Clause I must say.
- Jayesh was also ranting about something …
- Annu was super excited but I don’t know why.
- I could hear no sound from the mid section and back of the bus so I can safely presume they were sleeping.
Fast forwarding to the point when we reach Nasarapur, we all got down (that was obvious I guess).
The sky looked really nice, however due my limited novice skills I could only spot Orion at the first glance (that’s all I can ever spot at first glance to be frank). I could tell, the first years were excited, they were stumbling all over the place when we got off the bus or maybe it was because it was dark. When everyone had gotten down, Jayesh and the other brave seniors led the way through the dark to Lole Uncle’s house, leaving two poor souls behind – Payas and me. We were entrusted with the job of helping the bus wala uncle park his bus properly without damaging the crops that surrounded it. It was a job of great honor and we were proud to do it. When we reached Uncle’s house, I was greeted by familiar surroundings and was quick to answer natures call (I told you, the reader this post is absurd).
Having done what I had to, we (Mukesh and me) went searching for the new location were the members had set their base camp. On reaching I realized Jayesh was explaining how to locate the North Star with the help of Cassiopeia as the lazy Great Bear had just began to rise. I could not help but remember this dialog which took place last star party –
Person1 – How do you find the North Direction.
Person2 – By finding the North Star.
Person1 – And how do you find the North Star.
Person2 – It is in the North Na !!
We carefully and very quietly walked to the other side of the field (Jayesh gets angry if we make too much noise 😦 ) and joined up with Samiksha and Payas. Samiksha was busy observing random M-Objects through the binocs and was kind enough to patiently show me M42 and M43 (I must admit I did think about Counter Strike and its M16 for a brief amount of time). Though Plieadus looked fuzzy through the binocs, Betelgeuse looked really awesome and was a treat to observe. The highlight of the pre dinner observation was a plane, yes an airplane. I was so exited when I saw the plane that I snatched the binocs from Mukesh and started pointed them towards the plane with 2 yellow LEDs and a single red one. Mukesh was super pissed I am sure, so I apologize but come on the plane was awesome.
When we returned back near Lole Uncle’s house I was eager to show of my star knowledge to j4v4m4n, $hrink and Meha, so pointing at some random part of Orion I said –
See that is the hunter Orion, he is after that bull Taurus and is followed by his big doggy, the one which has that bright star Sirous and that small doggy.
For some reason I did not use their official names and these names stuck along with the five of us throughout the star party, it was super funny 😛
- Planes not seen through binocs – 4
- Planes seen through binocs with manual tracking – 2
- Satellites – 1
- Some falling rocks which everyone seems to boast about – 0
In the meantime while everyone was watching Jupiter, Mukesh and I went to bug abba and $hrink who were busy playing with their fancy cameras. To the best of my knowledge all that abba did throughout
the night was – Point the camera at some place, set a ridiculously long exposure time, sit back relax and curse anybody who shinned their torch light in the direction of his camera. After the crowd had finished seeing Jupiter, Omkar and Annu pointed the scope towards Plieadus. Abba also told me a great way of locating the Beehive cluster, draw a straight line through Castor and Pollox and the cluster should can be found just somewhere above that line. Before that I used to locate it using Leo and I must admit it was quite a difficult task. Jayesh also showed me how to trace Virgo by imagining a lady wearing ghagra with her hands on her hips, an explanation which I don’t think I will forget very soon. After about an hour abbha, j4v4m4n, $hrink, meha, mukesh, Samiksha and me went to the new site as abba and $hrink wanted to take some pictures. While abba and $hrink were busy with their cameras, the rest of us cracked some really lame jokes which should never be told again. When we returned back to the old site, everyone was sitting in a circle and Samiksha made everyone introduce themselves. It was quite surprising for me to not hear anyone say – “Myself ..”. The highlight of the intro session was when Pritesh gave his introduction in Sanskrit, that was super awesome. Soon after the introduction was over, it was ghost story time. I did miss Suchakra and Tanushri, the stories they told last time were extremely scary. This time however it was Prerana’s brother, who’s original Ghost story shocked us all and left us speechless. It was truly a wonderful story. It was about 5:00 by the time the story was over and abba was super hungry. He was so hungry that he actually went to Lole uncles house and asked aunty when breakfast would be ready, poor guy he was told that breakfast would not be ready until 7 in the morning. It was getting quite cold, although not like last time so we decided to click some pictures to divert our mind of the cold. We did click some super shady pictures of ourselves and I am sorry but my readers must see them 😦
Though we tried very hard to withstand the cold, some weak souls wanted a fire and so we called in our fire expert, Nikit and his trainee Omkar. For some reason the group got split up into two, one with the expert and one without. I stayed loyal to the fire expert, unlike a certain abba who kept changing parties and in the end it paid off.
Everyone enjoyed themselves a lot when the fire was lit, watching the master control the fire was amazing. Now that everyone was energized, the lame joke cracking started again and trust me, like I said before they must never ever be cracked again. After about half an hour the fire died and finally it was time for breakfast. Mukesh, Annu, Payas and me went for a small walk and when we returned the joy on abba’s face was evident, he was happy, his food was here and so was as an extremely chubby puppy. Sadly, Jayesh and the puppy did not get along well and the task of keeping the puppy away from our food was left to Poonam. The puppy however thought shoes were tastier than poha, Mr. Puppy I seriously beg to differ.
With my stomach full and having truly enjoyed the star party, I knew it was time to head home. Thank you for reading this and for all those friends who missed the Members star party, I missed you guys a lot and hope you guys can make it to the public Star Party.
Photography : Shreyank Gupta and Abhishek Bawiskar
Shreyank’s Photo Album http://www.flickr.com/photos/shreyankg/sets/72157629059223309/
Thank you for all those who came for the star party.