Transformation

Publish Date:Jul 14, 2016

 


“What nonsense are you doing there” grandpa yelled at me in the garden. ‘This old man pesters me a lot’ I thought as I shouted back “can’t you see that I’m destroying the caterpillars!” and continued my work trying to ignore the desperate words of my grandpa discouraging me from my work.  I took each one of the caterpillar with a forceps and dropped them in a small bucket filled with phenyl water.  It’s not all a work that I could enjoy; the pungent smell of the phenyl and the twisting of the caterpillars in pain made me feel sick, but I’ve decided to eradicate all the caterpillars in my garden.  I could’ve ignored them if they were few, but they were everywhere in the garden, they came along with the monsoon as if they were dropped from the clouds, but then grew rapidly in no time feeding on every green piece in the garden – It’s an invasion.

 

We had to be very careful not to touch them as their tiny thorns would make us itchy.  The whole garden smelled of their bodies and no plant could escape from their assault, so one day I took the decision of destroying them all and here I am, doing what I've decided!
*****

 

It’s been a month since I've performed ‘operation caterpillar’ and I was sitting in the garden along with my grandpa, we both were enjoying our evening tea when I suddenly screamed “grandpa! Look how beautiful that butterfly is” pointing at a  butterfly resting on a stem, it was so colourful as if a small garland is made out of a few different flowers, it has two big eyes on its wings as if to admire its own beauty! I looked at my grandpa hoping him to add a few more praises to my comments, but he looked as if he’s hurt with my comments, his face turned red and his eyes dampened as he slowly picked up some words

 

“Do you realise from where that butterfly came from? That was probably one of those caterpillars that escaped from you, now imagine how many butterflies would have been there in this garden if you haven’t killed all those caterpillars, you mercilessly kill them and now show off your aesthetic sense when one of them escaped from you and turned into a butterfly!” “But what can I do? You know that they were such a nuisance!” I protested though I felt guilty of what I’ve done.

 

“Nuisance! Have you ever spared some thought to find out what’s going on in the nature right in front of your eyes before you call it a nuisance?” “What’s the big deal in it” I shrugged my shoulders confused by my grandpa’s anger.

 

“Son! A man can either behave foolishly or selfishly, but there’s always a cause behind the moments of every other organism in this world; the flowers of a plant, the song of a bird, the dance of a peacock… everything has a reason behind it.  Look at those caterpillars for instance; the thorns over their body would protect their delicate bodies from their predators, they eat a lot so that they can have enough strength for hibernation, they build a nest by shedding their thorns and come out of it in flying colours, even without the thorns they have their own way of self protection, the colours on their wings would confuse their predators with the flowers and the eyes on their wings would make them appear like strange animals, even if some predator tries to catch it, the butterfly can escape swiftly as its wings are coated with fine particles which might be the reason why we call it a butterfly. 

 

Plants attract these butterflies through flowers and honey for the purpose of pollination, you see! The whole process of nature is going on before out eyes as smoothly as a butterfly landing on a flower.” “My God!” I said surprised at the analysis “I've read every bit of what you’ve said, but never looked at it in depth!”

 

“You have not yet seen the depth my son, what I've told you now is just a fact, you haven’t learnt the message yet. Like a caterpillar you should shed off your negative attitude (the thorns), evaluate yourselves in solitude (hibernation), and come out with a beautiful character (the butterfly). Defend yourselves though you are not dangerous (the eyes on the wings), don’t get caught easily in risky situations (slippery wings) and finally extract the honey out of life. Hope you had enough lessons to learn from a single butterfly!”

 

As grandpa stood up with a smile proud of his victory over my ignorance, I looked at a butterfly over a rose; I've seen it many times before but now…


-K.L.Surya

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