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Vacationing on the Moon

It’s 3033 and travelling to space on a luxury vacation is the norm. Medha Rao tells a tale about little Anika’s unforgettable journey to the celestial place
Last Updated : 26 August 2022, 20:26 IST

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The night before they left for their vacation to the Moon, Anika couldn’t sleep. She was far too excited and was up even before her mom would wake her up. She dressed in the dark, fumbling with the pant buttons and putting on her shirt inside out. As they climbed to the roof, Anika felt bad that Sultan couldn’t come with them. Golden Retrievers didn’t travel to space.

The taxi was already waiting to take them from the suburbs of New Bengaluru to the spaceport. The two-hour journey felt endless to Anika. Darshan, her older brother, slept through the whole ride of course; he could sleep through anything. The crowd at the port overwhelmed her a little but Anika clutched tightly to her mother’s hand as they finally boarded the ship to the Moon!

“It’s so beautiful!” Anika exclaimed to her father sitting beside her as she gazed out of the window to the Moon. Selenial, the main space station on the Moon, was made from glass and metal, sprawling over a large area.

Visitors stayed at the station in rooms that were connected to the main building through rounded glass tunnels looking out at the surface of the Moon. Anika and her family travelled to their rooms in a station cart that ran along the metal floors. By now, Anika was tired from the long journey and all her excitement. She fell asleep immediately.

Ten hours later, she woke up refreshed. Her mother had told her about the long days and nights on the Moon, which spanned more than a week of earth days. She found her mother in the main bedroom, organising all the clothes for the month-long vacation.

Her father was in the living room area near the doors to the air corridor, reading a book. She found Darshan in the outer room. Lying down in the lounge area next to Darshan, Anika looked up to the glass roof and the stars beyond it.

“They are so pretty, right?” Anika said to her brother, mesmerised by the stars. “I love how Earth is always seen from the Moon!”

“It is. The Moon has an Earth calendar, remember? They follow their days and nights based on the waxing and waning of the earth,” replied Darshan, the know-it-all.

“We learnt that in third grade. I can’t believe you only found out now. How did you even graduate 10th Darshan?” Anika shot back.

Post breakfast, the family set off to do some sightseeing. They visited all the interesting places in Selenial. The museum had been boring for Anika but she liked the viewpoints and even the tours of how the station worked.

They also took day trips to the outskirts of the station where the farmers grew organic food. The silvery surface of the moon was the best part, even though Darshan was more fascinated with the houses of people and the farmlands surrounded by their air pockets.

Ankita loved the vibrant carnival that was held in one of the larger outer craters near Selenial. They also visited a perennial market that stretched between three small craters. Her parents bought her a pouch made from silvery Moon-grown cotton, Moon rocks and so many other souvenirs. Darshan got a space plant which glowed in the dark. Their longest trip however was to the Lunar Ocean, the biggest water body on the near side of the Moon.

For this trip, they first travelled to another Station by a space train full of tourists. They stayed there for a whole week exploring the beaches, going on underwater trips in the silvery ocean and seeing different coves that were formed in the edge of the crater.

While exploring a calm beach, Anika found a cat crouched behind a rock. The cat was a shimmering black in colour with glowing purple eyes. Anika was pretty good with animals. Sultan loved her the most in the family. So, gradually, she managed to coax the space cat to approach her and began to stroke its iridescent fur.

When they tried to get her back to the Station, both Anika and the space cat refused to leave each other. After a heated discussion, her parents finally relented.

As Anika, sitting with the cat — who she had now named Amethyst — in her lap, on the ship headed back to Earth, looked out from the ship window towards the diminishing Moon, she could say without a doubt that this was the best vacation ever.

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Published 26 August 2022, 20:24 IST

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