“I don’t know anything with certainty, but seeing the stars makes me dream.”
― Vincent van Gogh
I grew up with my big brother. During the early 80’s, karate fever boomed various places of Imphal, Manipur. Those days Bruce Lee became an iconic figure for many martial arts’ fans for youths including my brother and their friends.I was just a mere kid exploring the world and learning the way of life with him.
I used to accompany him every evening while he was practicing his kicks, push up and other martial arts’ activities. later we cool down laying on the phak (Bamboo mat), glaring the starry sky with a complete relaxation. He taught me how to make constellations by connecting the stars. Helped me to find the Great Bear, North pole star.
He always told me there is something coming from the sky. Curiosity started to cripple my young mind. Our daily routine continues for days, weeks, months and years. And he never stops talking about this celestial thing, which is supposed to come from the sky and we are both waiting for the very moment to witness. With great hope, we waited until one night.
The quite starry night was disturbed by a streak of light. It was beautiful like a fireball with a tail. For a moment, I thought it will strike me to dead. But it didn’t, rather it move on to its journey.
Later when I grew up, I came to know the fireball with a tail was nothing but the great celestial Halley comets which had it’s perihelion orbit on the fateful night of 9th Feb 1986. It was indeed an unforgettable moment and a rare experience of my life.
Artwork credit: Paterson Ewen Halley’s Comet as Seen by Giotto 1979 Courtesy Art Gallery of Ontario © Mary Alison Handford