18.

Tonight was as perfect as it could ever be. Stargazing had become an almost new found obsession for me and when I thought about what I wanted for my birthday, it is exactly what came into my mind.

And so, my father planned out everything, contacted a local guide who knew the perfect spot, and we set out at around half past ten, for Nal Sarover (a bird sanctuary located in a remote area), covered in thick layers of clothes to keep away the cold and carrying a small sized cake that my brother bought for me.

The journey was pretty nice, as we got nearer to the location, the sweet smell of the forest at night seemed to welcome me. It was crazy, you know? To think that I was about to turn eighteen, childhood officially over and stepping into adulthood seemed daunting. So the perfect way to celebrate this new stage according to me was stargazing. When we reached the isolated spot near the bird sanctuary, it was pitch dark, and also silent apart from the sound of rustling of leaves, hinting no signs of commercialization, a perfect little hidden paradise.

Stepping out of the car, my eyes involuntarily shot up to the sky and couldn’t help but widen and gleam, reflecting the light of thousands of stars adorning the dark sky. Beautiful. In true sense. Looking up at the stars, I shivered, not only from the cold, but also from what I felt. Stargazing always leaves my soul with a deep sense of belonging, peace and satisfaction. I felt overwhelmed.

The local guide had bought a pair of binoculars with him through which we could see certain cluster of stars very clearly. My brother and I instantly started spotting stars and constellations with the help from this app on stargazing, and we were amazed to know about the distance in light years of certain stars from our planet. It was one of the best stargazing experiences, I would never be able to forget.

As soon as the clock struck twelve, my brother and my mum gave me the warmest of hugs and we cut the cake. Blowing out the barely lit candle, cutting a chocolate cake, with my family singing for me (my father’s voice booming the loudest), with the cold winds numbing our hands and innumerable stars shining above us, I felt complete. I realized how lucky I was to get a genuine family and I felt blessed to have the life that I have and that I love.

The journey back home was also great, as I called back all my friends whose calls I couldn’t receive, and I felt amazing to have those genuine people in my life. With my cheek resting on the cold window pane, listening to Coldplay and looking at the stars on the way back home, I felt truly calm and relaxed, (something which I hadn’t felt in a long time) and I also felt grateful for my life. I hate growing up but I love living; it doesn’t make much sense but then again it doesn’t really have to. I guess it’s just the way it’s supposed to be. Here’s to turning an adult and here’s to celebrating it the right way. . .

Published by Mehar

I like the smell of antique books, the rain, home cooked food, warm coffee, hot chocolate, old people, out-of-the-oven cookies, cozy hotels, new cities, the mountains, the forest (especially at night) and unforgettably, fresh pizza.

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