Minus One

In third grade, the window to the vast, wide, wild universe out there was opened to me by my beloved class teacher. “My Very Elegant Mother Just Showed Us Nine Planets”, she said. As much as I was excited about learning about the Solar system, I was also thrilled about having learnt a new word; Elegant. It was such a pretty word. My teacher did provide an alternate sentence: “My Very Educated Mother Just Showed Us Nine Planets”, but I wanted to remember Elegant.

The same year, my sister who was not in primary school anymore, was preparing a project on the solar system with her friend. Planets of plasticine around the sun on a white board. Their orbits were oval, I learnt.

There planets and satellites. There was the sun and the moon. There were stars and Galaxies. Galaxy was not just a nice chocolate anymore. Every bit about this particular lesson in the textbook was so amusing. Not until very later did I realize that how tiny a fraction we are of this whole set up.

Years later, when I was busy contemplating the universe of my teenage life, we learnt that Pluto was no longer a planet of the Solar system. Also, “My Very Elegant Mother Just Served Us Noodles”. Somehow, on that day, I didn’t like noodles as much as I usually did. We didn’t have to minus one planet to be served noodles. Now all the text books would have to be edited and re-printed, I thought.

Diameter of Pluto = 0.18 x diameter of Earth. Sounds so insignificant in comparison, doesn’t it, yet it is so very important to those whom it matters. Our actions and words maybe microscopic in dimension, but for those who care, it would mean the world. 🙂


Happy Weekend to you!