Come Fly With Me!
by Tanuja Chatterjee
I found a butterfly in my room today! It opened the switch gate and memories came flooding in!
By the time I became a mother, not only space constraint clawed in but also the number of butterflies dropped considerably....so much so, that whenever I saw one outside, I would drop everything and gaze at it, fluttering its wings and be enthralled by its beauty, from the confines of my grilled window. I'm sure my children must have wondered, why their mother behaved in such a crazy manner! For me it would be a joyous occasion.
Today I know why I love butterflies! But, back then, in my childhood, I was least bothered and totally unaware. I simply loved to chase them around. In those days, they were a common feature. Some laughed, some ignored and some thought me to be insane. I'm sure, some must have also wondered at my passionate endeavour!
My passion for them grew stronger, when one day one of my friends, showed me his prized possession. It was a huge collection of colourful remains of dead butterflies! I was so shocked that I began to cry. My mother encouraged me that from then on I must try and save as many of them as I could. I felt good and thought that I could prewarn them and save their lives. The more I thought, the more heroic became my actions ...and I couldn't be stopped! In a playway manner, mother taught me to value life. My efforts to shoo them away from the preying eyes soon became a passion for life time.
As a child,watching them flutter around from flower to flower or watching them simply float in air effortlessly,excited me. I would wonder, how they got those beautiful shades of colour, all generously loaded on their pair of wings! Why do the flowers begin to nod as they fly away! Are they saying "come again"! What attracts them to my garden! Do they loose their way ever! Why don't they come inside the house!
In my passion, I couldn't see that my children didn't find any such pleasure watching them. But as per my nature... one day, I pulled my daughter from her study, to witness an extraordinary butterfly...something I had never seen before! It was shiny black with two huge sparkling golden stars on its pair of wings. Poor thing had lost its way and had come inside my room and found a comfortable place for itself on top of my wardrobe. As I showed my excitement she said "What ma! You brought me here to watch this stupid butterfly! I was disappointed to hear that. and said "...what did you say...how stupid! Well, of course not! I still don't think so! What do you know of them!"
"Of course I know! They are the agents of cross pollination, their shades of colour and design are genetic and the fragrance of flowers draw them closer," she answered. "But..but that's just the zoological aspect of their life cycle. They also have another." I shot back. I felt pity for her. I realised that today we all are so caught up with our routine and rat-race that we really don't have time to stop and think...and in our daily pursuit, we overlook such beautiful graces of nature. And I took it upon myself, that I'll communicate the spirit of beauty of nature to her.
So I continued in a gentle voice " You know, butterflies are the symbols of life and transformation. Thses symbols of beauty are the agents of change who teach me to strive to transform myself, constantly and consistently, so that I can evolve from old to new, as a better human being. Their bright colourful hues send a message that whatever be my situation or circumstances, I must make an effort to paint my life with happy and joyful hues. Knowing that their life span is short and in spite of the darkness lurking before them they never stop or crumble in despair, instead flutter around like a vagabond, to illuminate the lives of the people and their environment, sending me the message as if saying "Look at us! How fragile we are in body though, but we don't give up from trying hard every moment for just a pint of nectar! That sweet elixir which when you drink fills your being with equal sweetness and fulfillment!To this purpose we are born and we live truly to our mission!"
"Look at yourself full of wails and doubts, complaints and regrets...oh how much you brood over impermanent and superficial things! Why don't you come and fly with us! Why don't you float amidst such fragrant lives around you!Why can't you believe that transformation from old to new is the key to life! Why can't you come alive! Oh why can't you! Why don't you! If not now then when will you fill your fleeting moments with the beauty of hope and appreciation for life! This life, once gone, will never come back. So capture every moment and colour and paint them with subtle but high intensity values! Will you ... remember me!"
Hearing me speak with emotions she turned around and said "I'm so fortunate to have you ma! The beauty of your heart makes everything look so beautiful to me!
Hearing so much of appreciation brought tears to my eyes and I replied in a hush " I care for those whom no one notices...a promise I made to my mother once!" In my heart I thought "How just a tiny butterfly brought me closer to my daughter and helped us forge an eternal bond to last forever!"