As soon as I stepped out of the home-stay a gust of cold wind hit me right on my face. It was freezing cold outside. I was at a height of 14,400 feet ASL after-all. Within moments I found myself contemplating whether to continue my walk towards the lake or turn back to the warmth of the home-stay behind me. With a confused mind, I looked up towards the heavens for some help and the heavens answered immediately. The sight of a billion twinkling stars above in a cloudless sky overshadowed any half-a-thought of going back inside that I had in my mind.
I found myself lost in the beauty of the sky above in no time, totally oblivious to the bone-chilling temperature and the cold gusts of wind hitting me from the front. This was back in the year 2012 by the Pangong Tso ( Leh to Pangong & Back), my first time of realizing how magically beautiful the night-sky actually was. I can confidently say that, that is the time when my fascination with the night-sky and those bright twinkling stars began.
Last year when I was in a village in Bihar ( The Celebration of Chhath) far from the light-pollution of the city, I once again got a brilliant view of a clear night-sky with countless stars twinkling above and no man-made interference whatsoever from the terrace of Ruchi's ancestral home. This was my second time of getting to see the clear night-sky and it seemed, I was luckier than before this time around. I was able to see a 'hint'of the Milky-way with my naked eyes. Too bad I was not able to capture it but the fact that I was able to see it made-up for that.
The best and the most beautiful night-skies that I have witnessed till now however, has to be those which I saw during my Hampta Pass Trek last month. Even though the first night was cloudy, to my joy the skies remained clear the following nights. Back home, I had spent countless nightsthinking about how it would be to sleep under the stars, on a moonless night. How would it feel to have no roof above you but the vast sky. Just couple of days before I was left for the trek, I was going through designs of some beautiful terraces giving wonderful views of the night-sky (even though with a lot of light-pollution), I couldn't help but imagine myself lying under the stars and amidst the high mountains.The clear Himalayan skies during the trek were making me optimistic about going for 'it' and I was actually half prepared to give it a shot.
The idea however was not liked much by the missus and I had to finally give it up and retreat back in the tent, part because of the extremely cold wind that was shaking the tent violently at regular intervals and part because of a fuming wife inside. I could have handled the former but did not want to take any chances with the later and hence took the ideal decision of giving in. Thankfully not before getting a couple of more shots though.
Let's see how long my wish of sleeping under the starts have to wait!
This blog was originally published on 'webguy'.