After the intoxicating cosmic ride, its time to key my thoughts .
Firstly, felicitations to the team including Anindya, Debnath, Puneit, Vidur, Mayank, Himanshu and yours truly!
Varanasi was a special choice to begin with, what with the surreal feel and effervescent life-giving Ganga. The ghats would offer a stunning view should mother nature decide to share our prayers and enthusiasm!
Many thanks to the preliminary group including Anindya, Debnath, Puneit and Himanshu for reaching early and selecting a stunner of a site. The terrace of the Anami Lodge on the Assi Ghat with a panorama of the Ganga and clear horizon across was magnificent. Anindya, our very own banarsi babu deserves special mention for his initmate knowledge annd pulse of the place.
Vidur, thanks for the lovely T-SHIRT design and Raghu, (Team Sasaram), thanks for the execution, both Sasaram and Varanasi had an identity!
The preparation was immense and exhaustive with DSLRs, Video Cameras and “Point and Shoots”. All of us gave our all during the night catching only a few moments of rest. Aside from scouting and selection of the place, our preparations involved elaborate and educated guesswork on the weather (which proved correct!) and timing the set-up of equipment and execution.
21st night provided a clear night sky (who said city skies are bad?) and we spent the time in doing what we love – deep sky observation. We managed good images of the Eagle Nebula, Lagoon Nebula, M6, M7, M45 and other MW objects aside from Jupiter. At 3 a.m., with Venus standing bright and tall, the signs were ominous – we were not going to be denied.
From then on, it was a queer and unadulterated mixture of confidence, hope and hysteria that caracterized the remainder of our solar journey! With the mystic black ((c) Puneit), enveloping the blinding gas ball over sublime grey skies, we all felt enveloped by the power of this magnificent world we inhabit.
Many thanks to Raj mama for his amazing guidance pre-trip (and the polaroid camera (Mayank shot some beauties (no pun intended!)) and Celestron C6 (Sasaram), Wish you were there!
Many thanks to Chinmaya for his enthusiasm pre-trip, Wish you were there too!
Many thanks to Nikhil (friend of CB, great pics!), Sunita, Prof. Ravinder Singh (Univ. of Patiala) and relative (Mirzapur), Amit (TOI) and family, Tushar (and brother and friend), Chitrangada, Tanuj and Manoj (Astronomica) and all others on the terrace for being with us!
Many thanks to Dr. Rathnasree for her untiring efforts for TSE 2009.
Many thanks to Vikrant (@ Patna) for his high pitched super charged voice at 3 a.m., there’s no one quite like you!
Gargantuan felicitations also to the Sasaram team (we are one!) who put in an equal amount of effort if not more!
Lets meet on SUNDAY and rejoice!
PS – Did I mention “divine intervention”