How else can I define it? I fall short of words to describe the moment that's coming in a few hours. It will be erroneous to describe my feelings as ecstasy. What I am feeling now is something I've rarely, or maybe never experienced. It's not elation, it's something beyond that. It's that something plus anxiety, fear, anticipation, awe. Now that would be a more apt description. I think I have written ample words trying in vain to do what is beyond my ability.
Let's get it straight. How would you feel if you were an astronomy enthusiast and got to express yourself in front of the top astronomers of the world? How would you feel if you were being featured at the convention where world's best astronomers meet and where every major decision about astronomy was made? How would you feel if you got the chance to represent your nation, acknowledge the part of the most important people in your life and say what you want to at such a convention?
See? Don't all these feelings obstruct your thoughts? Oh, I forgot to add: how would you feel if the highest governing body in astronomy gave you an award for your work when you are still in school?
So it'd be an exercise in futility writing about feelings, wouldn't it? Here's the thing. I've told you about my award before. Please allow me to repeat it here: I'm the winner of the 100 Hours of Astronomy Youth Participation Award. And in a few hours, (three, to be exact) the award will be presented in Rio de Janeiro at the XXVIIth General Assembly of the International Astronomical Union (IAU). (The UN, IAU and every space organisation of the world are part of the celebration that is International Year of Astronomy.)
Contrary to what the above passages may have indicated, I'll not actually be present in Rio de Janeiro in person to receive this award. A short video that I made will be shown there. And not many people are – beware of the extremely foul and offensive word – that lucky (I really, really dislike this word) to showcase themselves (even with a video) in front of some of the best astronomers in the world.
It sends shivers down my spine to think that a historic decision like this was made in the previous General Assembly of the IAU. I mean, really? In the 26th G.A., we got ourselves a new kind of objects called "dwarf planets" and after which all books in the world had to change the number of planets in the solar system. And in the next, I am featured? It can't be real! It must be a dream! But thankfully it isn't.
The award ceremony will start from 16:00 local time (that's 19:00 GMT or 0:30 IST). But the video of the ceremony will not be shown live. It will be archived after 2 hours. So you can access the video from this site 21:00 GMT (2:30 IST) onwards. So I invite you to come and share my moment of that something.
People use the phrase "dream come true" to describe something like this. But what will you say if you didn't even dream of that dream?