Saturday, January 16, 2010

Where were you when the sun went out?

Ray Bradbury’s short story titled, “All summer in a day” is set in a planet where it rains continuously and where sunshine appears only for two hours once in 7 years. On the day that scientists had predicted that the sun would appear, Margot, a 9-year old girl waits in eager anticipation. A few moments before the sun is about to appear, her friends tease her and lock her up in a closet and then forget to let her out till the sun disappears and it starts raining again. Poor Margot has to wait 7 more years for the event.

I felt exactly like Margot yesterday. The total solar eclipse, said the scientists, was unusual and the next one of a similar duration would appear again after 1014 years. During the period of totality ( 12 minutes) what was I doing? Sitting in an artificially-lit conference hall discussing mundane matters of business with a visitor from overseas.

A rare celestial event passed by while I was locked up in a closet. I’ll have to wait till the year 3024 AD. Damn.

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