“Mr. Kumar, you had booked a seat on Mars Voyager travelling to Mars. We shall be lifting off in twenty four hours. Please wait on the teleportation site at designated time for the pickup,” the lady operator announced over the phone.
Ravi Kumar Rastogi had booked a ticket to go to the red planet, Mars, as part of Elon Musk’s Mars inhabitation plan. Ravi felt excited with nervous energy. His time to leave the earth has come. He hoped on voyager, he got a window seat for the six month long journey.
Ravi was sure he will not return to earth ever. He had already made plans for distribution of his movable and immovable properties. Executor will open his “Will” two days after his lift off. Ravi was relieved that he did not have to arrange his travel papers. His biometric signatures would identify him. He did not have to pack his bags, worry about number of changes. Dress from earth unlikely to work in Mars.
Excitement did not allow any sleep. Ravi went out early in the morning for a walk in the park. It was still dark. As if, a game was being played between darkness and light. Ravi wanted to soak up the ambience, breathe the morning air, feel the dew under his feet on the wet grass. He wanted to say a prayer to rising sun, his last from this planet of the solar system.
Sitting on a rock, he recalled so many other times since his childhood days and during his youth he occupied the spot for quiet contemplation. His success and mostly his failures. From his early life, Ravi had been a nonconformist. He never wanted to tread the beaten path. He got many reprimands in school and beatings at home. All those times, he would sit on this rock and look at the sky. He wished if he could be there on a spaceship exploring new planets and galaxies. At least once he has been successful. Tomorrow his voyager will be racing through the space.
Ravi gathered his close family and friends. He embraced his friends one last time, touched feet of his elders. He apologised to Reena, his betrothed. He explained to all present, his craze to explore the unknown and uncommon, and his inability to settle down to a routine life. Finally, he announced his imminent departure from the planet earth.
After his last evening prayer, he waved goodbye to family and friends and stood on the teleportation site.
“Ravi beta wake up. What are you murmuring in your sleep? Why are you flailing your arm? It is already late. Don’t you have to go to your coaching class? Your are waiting for you,” Mother woke Ravi up from his dream.