‘Astronaut’: Sehri Tales selections, Day 6

The top selections in poetry, flash fiction and artwork for Day 6 of the Sehri Tales challenge; prompt: Astronaut
Artwork: Fabiha Tanzeem


"So, do you like it? You can learn how to be an astronaut or a deep sea diver. It's much more fun than a boring storybook!" My aunt looked at me expectantly.

I stared at the children's encyclopaedia she'd gifted me. As a well-trained 10-year-old who loved stories, I braced to conjure up fictitious delight at the prospect of "more" learning. As if school wasn't bad enough!

But adults rarely wanted to hear the truth. I'd come to realise that after first hearing the story of Laika, the dog the Russians launched into space on Sputnik 2. With no way of bringing her back, Laika's death was guaranteed once they sent her into orbit. Yet grownups described this as an exciting adventure.

Not for Laika.

Years later, I saw the movie My Life as a Dog, about a young Swedish boy sent to live with relatives after his mother falls ill. Attempting to console himself, he considers the fate of those worse off; like Laika, left to die a lonely death in space.

While I'd never believed the fiction about Laika the Astronaut Dog's glorious journey, I was horrified to learn that she died of heat exposure just a few hours into the trip.

So no, I had no interest in becoming an astronaut or a deep sea diver.

But like Laika, I did my duty. "Oh yes, I can't wait to read it!"

I never opened that book again. There were too many good stories waiting to be read.

by Farah Ghuznavi 



It was the middle of March when we lost all contact with mission control. Things became strange when we noticed the lights that usually speckle on the continent at night missing. The eerie radio silence touched everyone's nerve by the second week. And some of my colleagues feared the worst.

The dam that held their fears broke in August. The supply pod from the last mission could possibly be landed on the surface. And death was better than rotting up here, as the supplies dwindled.

They promised they'll try to establish contact if they landed safely. Send help. Anything. I watched the pod burn red as it entered the atmosphere, estimated to land on the coast of Greece. Better check out the local food, I had jested with them as they said their goodbyes. That was a few centuries ago. I had lost count. My calendar didn't continue past the first century.

The earth was tidally locked. The sun, now with a lighter green tinge, still provided me with the power to function. And I orbited the dead planet. The last space station.

Maybe it was time for me to plan a course and open up my solar sails. And set sail across the space for uncharted space.

After all, wouldn't that make me the last astronaut from earth?

by Masud Mass Hoque 


"I want to be an astronaut"
Some people laughed
Because you can't imagine touching the stars
When you're sitting on Earth

by Tasfia Zuhair  



৭ মিনিট আগে|বাংলাদেশ

গ্যারান্টি দিয়ে বলতে পারি পিটার হাসের সঙ্গে রাজনৈতিক আলোচনা করিনি: আইনমন্ত্রী

প্রধানমন্ত্রীর বেসরকারি শিল্প ও বিনিয়োগ বিষয়ক উপদেষ্টা সালমান এফ রহমান এবং আইনমন্ত্রী আনিসুল হকের সঙ্গে বৈঠক করেছেন ঢাকায় নিযুক্ত মার্কিন রাষ্ট্রদূত পিটার হাস।