• Vol. 10
  • Chapter 11

Reaching for the Moon

The room erupted with cheers of joy as the mission successfully landed on the south pole of the Moon. It was an unprecedented step for the country’s space mission. Plans were afoot to send man once again to the Moon in two decades’ time. Packets of sweets were distributed. The backlava, the cashew pakoras and jalebis disappeared in no time.

‘Raghav, I know what you are thinking,’ smirked Bhavish beside him. ‘You are thinking - I want to be the first from the country to go to the moon.’

Raghav’s eyes widened with astonishment. How could Bhavish read his mind?

‘Forget it. You cannot even write cursive ‘s’ neatly,’ Bhavish smiled an evil smile and capered away.

Half an hour later, Raghav’s mother buttoned up his red woollen jacket, covered his head with the hood and both of them began their walk back home. Raghav tightly clasped his mother’s hand.

‘Are you cold, dear?’ his mother asked.
Raghav nodded.

‘Just a few minutes and we’ll be home,’ she said.

Raghav looked up. The moon glowed like a bright incandescent bulb lighting up the night sky.

‘Beautiful, isn’t it?’ Raghav’s mother smiled at him.
Raghav nodded and kicked a small stone that lay on his path.


Reaching for the Moon

‘What’s the matter, son? You are unusually quiet tonight.’   

‘Nothing, Mother,’ Raghav shrugged his shoulders.

Raghav’s mother left him to his thoughts, knowing that his inquisitive mind was still toying with thoughts of the journey of the moon mission that they had witnessed at the community science center.

That night, at the dinner table, Raghav toyed with his bowl of hot vegetable soup.

‘What’s the matter, Raghav?’ his mother said looking intently at him.    

‘Mama..’ started Raghav.

‘What is bothering you, son?’

‘Can I go to the moon?’ Raghav asked, his eyes full of questions.

His mother’s eyes lit up with excitement. ‘Of course, you can beta.’

‘But I cannot even write cursive ‘s’ neatly,’ Raghav slumped over his dinner, letting his spoon fall with a clatter.

‘You have a long way ahead, my boy. Don’t let small obstacles hold you back from following your big dreams.’ Raghav’s mother cupped his face with her warm hands and kissed his head. ‘One day you will reach the moon,’ she said squeezing his tiny hand gently with hers, ‘with the power of these very hands, the strength of your legs and the brilliant work of your mind.’  

The clouds in Raghav's eyes began clearing up and he smiled for the first time that evening.