Today is P!! @a-z challenge
P reminds me of Pinku, the boy who goes go to Pluto.
So, here's his story :-)
It all started when Pinku was a little boy. Curious mind, over brimming with ideas and dreams, Pinku had shown much interest in the study of the stars and the planets ( also known as astronomy ) from quite a young age. He often dreamt of becoming an astronaut someday. His father had an old telescope which Pinku would stealthily get and take it up to the terrace in the middle of the night. Everybody else would be in deep slumber, and it was when Pinku would start his own mid-night explorations of the infinite fascinating celestial bodies with grave interest. He used to simply love and get the thrills gazing at the twinkling stars that beaconed him brightly at night, from above.
However, Pinku was increasingly disturbed these days. Right from his kindergarten, he had learnt that there were 9 planets around the Sun in our solar system, but of late in his 5th grade now, he was being taught that the ninth planet Pluto was no longer considered a planet anymore. It has always been his dream to travel to all these planets, but, with one being told missing, he was very unhappy and heartbroken. He wanted to know where Pluto had disappeared, and hoped that somehow one day, he could bring it back and unite it with its old family of the 9 planets along with its famous parent, the Sun.
At night, Pinku took the old telescope and stealthily went up the terrace hoping to accomplish his mission.
He fixed the telescope onto a tripod and started positioning himself, hoping to spot Pluto.
"I have to find you today, dear Pluto. You just cannot vanish. Without you, my dream space-voyage to the 9 planets is incomplete," he muttered and peeked into the instrument curiously.
He changed position over and over, not satisfied, as he tried to find elusive Pluto in the telescope lenses, from out in the dark skies. But no luck favored him. It was over an hour now, with fleeting clouds speeding by often disturbing the vision, Pinku was begining to feel exhausted and sleepy.
Just then, there was a strange 'hisss' noise at the end corner of the terrace which distracted Pinku. He saw the whole terrace being slowly illuminated in a strange, soft pinkish glow. Curious, he went towards where the noise had come from. The glow became brighter and more strong as he approached, and he was amazed to see a human sized capsule resting on the edge of the terrace, nearly hovering. It seemed to be built of a different transparent material, not glass - not metal. And as Pinku went nearer, he heard his name being whispered softly.
"Pinku, come here," the automated voice from inside the capsule ordered, not harsh. It was rather a soft musical voice, quite unearthly too, didn't sound either male or female. Weird, he thought.
"Who is it?" Pinku asked hesitantly, as he took a step closer.
He spotted an entrance on one side of the dark pink capsule which was emanating the pinkish glow.
"Come inside Pinku, we are your friends from planet Pluto." Hearing this Pinku was surprised.
"We got to hear that you wanted to visit us, so we came to take you to our lovely planet. Be our guest and come with us."
"But..." Pinku was confused. Was it happening for real?
"Yes, it is real Pinku, you'll love it there. Just come inside and we'll take you on a beautiful journey through the skies to our amazing planet Pluto. It is what you always dreamt of and something you'll definitely cherish as a memory in future."
As Pinku stepped anxiously inside the capsule, its entrance slowly closed. Inside, it was empty but was magnificently lit and had up-to-date compact equipments, with various gadgets, monitors and controls blinking. Though small, it was spacious enough for a single person and had enough room to sit and move. The capsule itself was built from some unearthly material, not found on earth, which was kind of flexible rubber-type, yet was strong and sturdy. It was unmanned, hence probably automatically programmed to operate or remote controlled, Pinku thought in wonder, looking at the insides of this dream machine.
"Relax Pinku, make yourself comfortable. You are onboard our super sonic space-ship Pluto XX1 enroute to our home planet, Pluto, the former 9th planet of your Solar System. We are deeply saddened by your earth people's heartless decision to have it removed from your planet system and also the school's syllabi. Hopefully your travel will confirm of our existence and you'll report the same to the concerned authorities and convince them back on earth by clearing all doubts that Pluto exists for real."
"Oh sure!" Pinku said. He, of all people had never ever doubted that Pluto existed, and had always thought that it deserved a rightful place in the Sun's Solar system. After all, all his nightly telescopic explorations up on his terrace were but to put this troubling doubt to rest.
"There's food and refreshments in the refrigerator just above your head near the controls cabinet, so help yourself. We are ready for take off now," the voice said.
"Oh wow!" Pinku was thrilled. "You guys in Pluto have refrigerator too, that's just great."
"No Pinku," the voice said, "In our planet we don't need a refrigerator, instead we have an automated heating system that keeps our planet warm, as our planet is always filled with snow, and is very cold. But this refrigerator is for you, especially when we travel to warm places like Delhi. The food in the capsule is also made specially for earthlings."
"Oh okay...that's cool." Pinku said, as he took some sandwich and deserts that he found packed neatly, from the mini inbuilt refrigerator and sat near the huge transparent capsule window. He realized that the capsule was already moving at great speed, as he watched excitedly at the stars and asteroids fast zooming past outside.
"Hey that's Mars we just crossed by," Pinku yelped in joy as they crossed the big red planet, "Jupitar is so gigantic. Its monstrously big, OMG! And...Oh wow! Now I can spot the Saturn's rings too! 1.2..3 Oh! So many of them, all so colourful, its really amazing. Can we go bit closer please?"
"Sure Pinku," the voice responded as the space capsule auto-piloted closer to the Saturn's rings. "There are smaller planets bigger than its moons, just like your earth located on these rings, and people inhabit in many of them as well."
Pinku was surprised at this new knowledge. This is something he'd definately have to tell his science teacher and the whole world too. "Are their lifestyles exactly like those on earth?" he asked.
"Oh yes, Pinku. In fact, they are much advanced. They had discovered mobiles, internets at least over 10 million years ago, so that's how advanced they are. They are frequent sky travelers too and many of them have traveled to earth several times for their summer holidays. People from our planet also travel to your earth's summer resorts when we want to soak in the sun. We prefer to camp in the Sahara deserts though, mostly for privacy."
All this was too amazing. So there were humans on planet Pluto too and how cruel of those scientists back on earth to write off the planet completely. He'd have to correct all their mis-informations when he got back, Pinku thought. Maybe he will need to travel to Nasa or the White house too for this purpose. He felt quite important thinking about the task he had ahead as he looked outside with great interest.
"Pinku, we are arriving at Pluto shortly," the voice announced after some time, "Please wear the skin-suit placed in the underneath pocket of your seat. It is the warmth suit that you'll need during your stay in Pluto."
Pinku found a shiny body suit, that was made of very thin fabric. How is it going to keep me warm, he thought. How about a sweater or a jacket instead?
As if reading his thoughts again, the voice instantly answered, "No Pinku, you wont need a jacket. This suit has a button that will warm you up when it touches your body. It also helps you to keep yourself grounded to the soil as our gravity is very light and builds an invisible protection cover around you using your body aura. Also you'll have to remove all your earth-clothing in order to wear the suit. In our planet, this Pluto suit is what every inhabitant wears. As soon as you are ready, we'll land. And Priti - our planet guide will take you around our planet for sight-seeing. Its a small planet, you'll see it all within few hours."
Pinku felt bit concious as he stepped out of his clothes and got inside the suit. It felt nothing.
"You are inside the capsule now, that's why there's no change in suit's inner temperature, however the body suit will start working as soon as we land. We hope you enjoy your stay in Pluto."
Pinku was ready and looked out of the capsule window. It was dark outside, as the Sun's rays didn't quite reach the planet, but instead there were many artifical lightings he could spot from above, glinting like small glow-lamps. The glow of these artificial lights grew brighter as the capsule touched base. It was a beautiful sight outside, illunimated with decorative lights everywhere, almost like Diwali back at home.
"We've landed Pinku." the voice announced.
Pinku stepped outside and to his surprise saw a human-like girl waiting just outside the capsule entrance. She was like any other college girl spotted commonly in Delhi streets. Fair, tall, long haired and smooth skinned. Her ears were a bit different though, they were pointed ones ( like Mr.Spock of star trek ), everything else same as on earth. She was very beautiful and was wearing a similar body suit like him that beautifully curved out her assets.
"You must be Pinku," she said in an exciting musical voice, smiling cheerfully. Pinku nodded his head, feeling a bit shy and also curious. There were many people waiting nearby and all seemed to know him and was sort of expecting his arrival. All smiled at him cheerfully. It was a genuinely happy atmosphere in Pluto, everybody had a smile fixed on their faces. And everyone had pointed ears, Pinku noticed.
"Come Pinku." the girl said, "We have lots to show you. And welcome to our lovely planet, Pluto."
What followed was quite extraordinary. Life on Pluto, as Pinku saw was fun and very advanced. He spotted various air vehicles of all shapes, sizes and colors, as they zoomed around in the air. There were many restaurants, skyscapers scattered everywhere, all glowing brightly. Some of these sky scrapers were in mid-air, making them an unbelievable yet a mesmerizing sight. Pinku wondered if people lived in any of them.
"Yes, Pinku, many of us have apartments in those skyscapers. We also have our offices there." Priti could easily read his thoughts just like the invisible capsule robot who was giving instructions earlier.
"Pinku we look and behave like normal humans just as on earth, but we also have a few extra abilies like telepathy. See our ears?" She paused to show her pointed ears. Pinku nodded as she continued, "These 'points' in our ears are very sensitive, and they help in our communications as we communicate a lot via thoughts. Hence, I could read your thoughts so easily." She stopped and took out something in her hand, "Here, place this around your waist." She gave him a waist band. "Its our travel machine, there's a button on it, press it and we dont have to walk anymore, we'll sky travel."
Pinku put on his and pressed the button and instantly they were a few feet up in the air, floating.
"We can adjust the height and speed just by moving left-right." Priti said, "Lets go."
And soon they were travelling swiftly in the Pluto skyline, occasionally landing at places of interest like the Pluto museum.
"Here we have many relics and artefacts that our ancestors have preserved. Many are brought from your earth too." Priti explained. Pinku got to see some really amazing stuff at the museum.
After the museum tour, Priti took him to planet Pluto's theme park where Pluto people were out relaxing, enjoying and gossiping. There was no day time in Pluto. It was always night constantly. Every one got up when they wanted or slept when they wanted. Pluto had lot of snow as well, that was frequently cleared by it's local municipality authorities, hence most of the places were sparkling clean of snow.
"We have to go to the mountains if we want to see real snow, can you believe it?" Priti was saying.
Everything was unbelievable for Pinku. He was just taking it all in. Just then he spotted a cinema hall and looked questioningly at Priti. "Oh! we simply love Bollywood and Hollywood. Your earth movies are simply awesome. We download all the movies via speed satellite-net and telecast in our cinema halls. All our Pluto people love to watch movies in the theatres, hence these halls exists and they are also a great place for us to socialize." Pinku looked on in wonder.
"Come. You must taste our food." Priti announced. She tugged his hand as she took him to a Pluto hotel. "The food is the only thing different here than on earth," she said. Pinku had never tasted food like this ever in his life. It tasted quite mild. The quantity served on the plate was tiny too, but instantly filling.
"Our food is highly advanced and genetically produced under artificial conditions, as you can see we don't get the sun rays at all for growing crops etc." Priti explained as they returned after their meal.
Pinku was enjoying every moment discovering Pluto. He had so much to tell the folks back on earth. They'd all be compelled to include Pluto back into the planet system and the school texts and honour it with a special status, Pinku thought determinedly. He had a big responsibility on his shoulders now.
As he was thinking, he felt some rain drops on his face. "Is it raining here at Pluto?" he asked.
Priti looked at him strangely, "No it never rains here like on earth, but we do have snow fall," she said.
"Strange, I'm feeling the rain," Pinku said, as drizzles from the heavens suddenly started to pour on him.
"But it never rains here," Priti was saying, however her voice was slowly getting faded. He could barely hear her.
The rain was falling heavily on him now, so strange that she didnt feel it. Maybe its their skin immuned to the rain drops, Pinku thought as he looked around. She was nowhere in sight. Where did she go. Pinku blinked again, the rain making it impossible to keep his eyes open and see anything.
Atlast, he was fully drenched and he forced his eyes open. To his amazement he found that was lying on his house terrace. He sat up confused at the surroundings. It was raining very heavily. He had fallen asleep he realized, spotting his father's telescope standing on the tripod, which was also getting drenched in the rain.
"Oh Gosh, no!" he exclaimed as he ran to rescue it from Delhi's heavy midnight showers and rushed inside. "Hope it is not damaged." Pinku thought, foolishly realising now that it was all a dream.
His trip to Pluto was a dream and nothing else, no capsules - no body suits. In fact, all his clothes were dripping wet now. He had to change them or he'll catch cold, he thought quite embarrassed at how he was woken up in his own terrace by the Delhi rain.
Pinku hurried to his room after wiping the telescope and keeping it back in its proper place.
Oh! What a dream it was, he thought. However, it was a lovely dream, he smiled.
Copyright 2013 © Nandini Deka
P.S : This is a work of fiction and bears no resemblance to anyone living or dead.
( Images : Google )