Do not frown at me. This is not about the scientific phenomenon called the butterfly effect, though that in itself is quite a fascinating notion. It’s a Sunday morning which started with the usual happy feeling that I could read the whole newspaper without worrying about reaching to the office in time. But as it turned out, I am bored to the death after reading two newspapers without actually enjoying any of them. So here I am, in the balcony of the house, looking outside for anything which can charge me up.
The day is certainly not sunny. The early morning rain still ensures a bit of cold air, and the clouds have not yet thought of releasing the sun from their stronghold. The silence has invaded the scene; the only sound being the hiss of the trees in light breeze. To my merriment, a cuckoo does try to sing occasionally. A tree branch has extended itself till the wall of the house. As I try to play with the branch, I see a butterfly passing in front. I follow its flight. It keeps flying around without giving any sense of purpose. Maybe the flight is the purpose and quite a noble one of it – don’t we still dream of flying one day? And fly to where? Nowhere in particular, just for the sake of flying. Get me high, let me fly. What good it is to ask me why? Soon another butterfly joins the first one and they start flapping their wings fast to outpace each other. They go up and down in spiral movement chasing each other, which reminds me of the famous double helix DNA model of Watson and Crick. For a moment I think they are siblings -if you can use that word for butterflies – who try to catch each other in a game. The other moment presents the thought of them being lovers with playfulness part of their act of love. I get this strong urge to get the camera and shoot them so that I can show that spectacle to my friends, but I stop myself. There are reasons behind that. First, these butterflies are no different than children. They get your attention quite quickly, you enjoy what they are doing and when you get the camera to capture the moments, they throw all kind of tantrums to escape the lenses. You just can’t get them in the right angle! The second reason is my selfish motive – I don’t want others to see what I am looking at. They should come to know about it through my words. Call it the reward for getting up early. But isn’t that meaningless? The nature treats us all the same, I am another you and there are butterflies to be seen by every one of us. Not only seen, but to be loved. The great thing about the butterfly is that all of us can love it. More importantly, we need not to be apologetic for loving the same object.
I remember a Gujarati poem which I used to sing in my childhood – rangeela rangeela rangeela patangiya (O colorful butterflies!) To these days children perform on that poem. Even I danced on those words with my friends Bhavik and Pradip after I started working professionally. A child within never dies, I suppose.
My instinct says that they suddenly stopped flying because they somehow got to know about my wishful thinking. One of them is now sitting on the branch which I am holding with both its wings folded together. It is a brown and black in colors. Unfortunately it does not appear as beautiful as it was in its flight. It looks like a small branch of a tree which could never grow beyond an inch. There I see why the beauty diminished. The life, and beauty of it, is in dynamism, in certain vibrancy. Jump around if you cannot fly. Play… Dance… Sing…Love. Let the flow go. Be the flow. Needless to say, the butterfly has started fluttering again. This time the movement gives impression of whirling of a Sufi dervish. I am already counting my blessings for the butterfly effect.