My earliest memory of looking up at the night sky was when I was a little child and my family and I had gone with great expectations to a star party to observe a meteor shower. Unfortunately, that night produced very little meteor activity and I went back home disappointed. Sensing my disappointment, my Grandmother took me to the terrace of our house and we both gazed upwards. We were treated to the sight of a bright meteor streaking across the sky. Ever so quickly my disappointment turned to amazement! Enmeshed in a city life since, where the sky was blanketed by the glare of artificial light, that connection to the night sky slowly faded.
I have always been passionate about nature and my fascination with Photography drove me to explore the natural world armed with a camera. While developing a portfolio for admission to a Photography school, I visited Kodaikanal and had a brief glimpse of the brilliance of the night sky. It was only when I moved to Ooty for a year to pursue Photography education at Light and Life Academy that I rediscovered that ‘amazement’. When I first looked up at the pristine night sky of the Nilgiris, I was enraptured. That moment reconnected me to the wonders of the Cosmos that the city had hidden from view.
Throughout human history, the night sky has served as guide, storyteller and teacher, and it continues to now be an invaluable source of information and wonder for those fortunate enough to connect with it. It is also estimated that almost 2/3 of humanity cannot even see the Milky Way anymore; what a loss!