Astronomy is my first love.

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Astronomy is perhaps the science whose discoveries owe least to chance, in which human understanding appears in its whole magnitude, and through which man can best learn how small he is.

       G. C. Lichtenberg (1742-99), German physicist, philosopher.phorisms,"Notebook

        C," aph. 23   (written 1765-99; tr. by R. J. Hollingdale, 1990).  

  This article has been long over-due and it is high time that I wrote it down. Astronomy, ah! I have so many memories associated with this particular subject, which unfortunately in Pakistan is not even considered a subject by masses. In fact, they can hardly distinguish between Astrology and Astronomy! How I became interested in Astronomy is something that has interested me for a long time. No matter how much I think I can't reach that point in my life when I developed a love for it. The farthest backward I have any memory of such sort is that of my sister asking me what a black hole was and at that moment I knew nothing but a few lines and then I started my search of black holes which ultimately developed into a strong love with star-lore. My passion also has some roots in my love for books. I encountered a lot of science fictions, which were too a reason for my stepping beyond the realms of Earth.    

   If I critically analyze my life, I find the entrance of Astronomy as the turning point of my life. Astronomy came as blessing, as a source of life. It showed me what life really is. Before that I was a dumb and 'good for nothing' boy. I didn't have any special interest in anything, except book reading but that alone was limited to reading the detective stories, for which now I feel that I wasted that time and money. I don't know why but I was not something you can call 'intelligent'. But as soon as Astronomy came in my life, everything changed and I mean it, everything! My whole way of thinking, my interests, my ideas. All other interests of mine have their roots in Astronomy. I think that for being 'something' you have to excel in one field or another. You must have an interest for something to develop yourself. What that interest is immaterial but what it gives you in return is something really valuable. For me, that field was Astronomy. Astronomy enabled me to grow, to develop, to turn into something of which I was proud. It increased my mental horizon, and showed me the path towards a different, better me.

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      Astronomy is a highly interesting subject and it can be studied on as difficult a level as you desire. Initially my interest was limited to only a few topics such as black holes and such, which are the major tools in the hands of science-fiction writers. But slowly and gradually I learned more and more and my interest grew in it. The sun-spots, the barren mountains of Mercury, the acidic-boiling rains of Venus, the red sand of Mars, the astray asteroids of Asteroid belt, the giant red-spot on Jupiter, the stunning rings of Saturn, the 90 degree ...

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