Introduction

This chapter is translated from the story ‘Bhet’ by Lakshman Londhe. It talks about a young girl, Sayali, who takes a school trip to the moon. Many interesting things happen on this trip, and she sees wonderful attractions along with her friends. The gravitational force of the moon results in a funny twist at the end of the story.

Characters

Sayali– A girl who goes on a school trip to the moon

Sayali’s mother– Sayali’s mother who sends her on the costly trip so she can make the most of the opportunity

The Journey to the Moon

Sayali looked outside the space shuttle for a long time, but still was not satisfied. Seeing this view with her own eyes was different from reading about it or watching videos. It was truly an ‘out of the world’ experience. The earth slowly got smaller in the sky and the blue sky became jet black. The clouds had disappeared, the stars were shining bright.

This trip to the moon was very expensive, but still Sayali’s mother had sent her on the trip. She said that in her childhood they could not even think of such long-distance trips. The longest trip meant going to Europe. Sayali laughed about how Neha’s grandmother had said that in their childhood, the longest school trip used to be only up to Delhi or Kolkata.

The shuttle was getting closer to the moon and started orbiting it. It completed one revolution every 32 minutes. The dome-shaped settlements on the moon became visible. Then the shuttle landed on the moon. The children were taken through an airtight tunnel to the Neil Armstrong base.

The receptionist there gave them some instructions after welcoming them. She told them how the human settlements on the moon had the same gravitational force as the earth. But outside, the gravitational force of the moon was 1/6th of that of the earth. They would have to be careful while roaming around. She also warned them to not buy souvenirs from shops outside the settlements.

The Sky Watch and the Circus

On the moon, there were fifteen days of daylight and fifteen days of night-time. The three days of Sayali’s trip were going to be part of the night-time. On the first day, they participated in the Sky Watch.  There was no atmosphere on the moon, so the stars shone very bright. In the moon sky, the earth looked thirteen times bigger and seventy times brighter than the moon in the earth sky. This beautiful view made everyone very happy.

They went to the circus on the second day. The seating arrangement was unique as the audience sat in the tent and the circus happened outside. High jumps and long jumps were the special attractions.

On both the days, the children also visited the various settlements there and made time for self-study. The teacher had told them to write an essay about their trip to the moon. Sayali and her friends did a lot of sight-seeing.

On the third day, their teacher took them to a place of historical importance. A hundred years ago Neil Armstrong had landed at this place. The first footprint of Neil Armstrong was preserved on the moon land with a grand statue of him beside it. At the base of the statue the first words said by him on the moon, ‘One small step for a man, one giant leap of mankind’, were carved.

Sayali buys Earrings for her Mother

The children were going to wear space suits for the first time and roam outside, experiencing the gravitational force of the moon. They jumped and ran around although their teacher told them to be careful.

The roadside shopkeepers shouted about their ornaments being cheaper and better than those available in the shops in the settlements. One of them approached Sayali with earrings. Sayali suddenly remembered her mother and felt guilty for forgetting her. So, she bought some red earrings from the shopkeeper for her mother.

When she returned home, she was excited to show her mother the earrings she bought for her from the moon. Her mother picked them up and asked how she was going to wear such heavy earrings. Sayali immediately realized her mistake. She had bought the earrings in the field of the moon’s gravity, so they had seemed much lighter than they actually were.

Conclusion

This story lets us know many facts about the moon. We learn about its gravitational force and the first moon landing. The story is fun and informative and makes us dream of a future where we too, can take a trip to the moon.