I tiptoed down the stairs and opened the front door of my house. Mom and Dad were sleeping in their bedroom upstairs, and I did not want to disturb them. Granny was sleeping in the bedroom right next to mine and she was a light sleeper. I did not want to wake her up either. It was Ganesh Chaturthi the next day. I loved Ganesh Chaturthi. Mom and Gran would make Kozhakatts. Kozhakatts were very tasty and sweet. Every year, on the day of Ganesh Chaturthi, I would devour them after performing Ganesh pooja with Mom, Dad, and Granny. Granny says that Lord Ganesh comes to our house and eats Kozhakatts along with us every year on Ganesh Chaturthi. He also showers his blessings on all of us. But Lord Ganesh never came. I was nine years old and wanted to meet Lord Ganesh.
I had waited for him last year and the year before last on Ganesh Chaturthi day, but he had not come. Whenever I had asked mom or Granny the question: where I could meet Ganesh, they always told me that he lived high up in the sky. This year I was determined to meet him. I decided that Lord Ganesh must be living somewhere near the Earth. I decided that the nearest place he could be living in was the Moon. And the Moon was high up in the sky. I had learned in science class that the Moon was a satellite of the Earth and was nearer to the Earth compared to other stars. Ten days back I had made some wings that I could clip to my sides. I planned to fly to the Moon and meet Lord Ganesh on the night before the festival. I had hidden the wings in the shed at the corner of our Garden.
I walked to the shed and opened its doors. I switched the lights on and soon found the wings I had designed. I clipped the wings to my sides and stepped out of the shed. I flapped them and started flying. I rose steadily up in the sky. I looked down at the Earth as I flew up. The sight I saw was beautiful. The Earth was glowing with lights. It looked like every place was lit up. I could see the lights fading away slowly as I rose further. Soon I was near the Moon. I was also taught that there was no water on the Moon and had carried a bottle of water with me. I landed on the Moon. After I landed, I looked all around myself. Suddenly at a distance, I could see a small figure walking toward me.
I could see that the figure had the head of a baby elephant. I could also see the long trunk Ganesh had. I realized that I was looking at Lord Ganesh himself and my joy knew no bounds. I ran full tilt towards him. As I ran, I started bouncing very high into the air. Finally, Ganesh caught me mid-air in his arms and gently put me down on the surface.
‘Ha, ha, ha, have you forgotten what you learned in your science class? Gravity is six times lesser on the Moon than on the Earth.’ Ganesh said laughingly.
I looked at him and said, ‘You could have reminded me.’
Ganesh smiled and said, ‘Sorry child, it was very nice of you to come here to meet me. What do you want to do?’
‘I want you to take me on a tour of the Moon and also play with you.’ I replied.
Soon Ganesh wrapped me up in his trunk and took me on a tour of the Moon. The Moon was very silent and still and very different from the Earth. We also played hide and seek for some time. Ganesh took me to a cave where we gorged on Kozhakatts. After some time, Ganesh said, ‘You should go back now. Otherwise, your family will start searching for you.’
‘Where and when can I meet you again?’ I asked Ganesh eagerly.
‘Visit me on the night before Ganesh Chaturthi every year in this place. All you have to do is to clip your wings on and come here.’ Ganesh said.
Reluctantly I took leave of Ganesh and flew back to my house on Earth. I opened the front door and let myself in. Soon I was sleeping in my warm and cosy bed.
As usual, the next day, Mom, Dad, Granny, and I performed Ganesh pooja and ate Kozhakkats.
My mother looked at me in some surprise, ruffled my hair, and said, ‘You have not asked us where to meet Lord Ganesh today? You do that every year.’
I looked at the idol of Ganesh for whom we had done the Pooja, grinned, and said, ‘I met him last night.’
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