Monday, April 15, 2013

Bangalore Diaries - Of caterpillars and butterflies

I wake up to a dark room. The curtains are drawn and the room is so dark that I can barely see my phone next to me. I open one eye warily and look at the time. The power nap has become a snooze. And in that one hour - a lot of changes have happened in my universe. The sky has changed colours and the yoga teacher has cancelled her class.  But the stillness in the air has given way to the bustle of the breeze.  I open my balcony door to let the weather inside the room.  Maybe the Rain Gods had heard me.

The birds are confused. The black kite sits on the sloping curve of the coconut tree's branch and observes the scene . A mynah is walking on the parapet wall of the neighbour's terrace. The pigeons are as usual expressionless. And the red whiskered bulbul has not come today.

But the bamboo is very happy. He is chatting with the breeze, rustling with the palm that does a slow dance when compared to the lively bamboo. I look at the leaves of the palm. A friend had pointed out to me earlier that there could have been a caterpillar feeding on them. The leaves have been chopped or rather cut symmetrically in half but the mysterious caterpillar that has been feeding on them is missing. I look around my little garden but there is a pact among the plants - they won't tell me anything.

 Months ago, I had noticed a caterpillar - somewhat like layers of white thread knitted together feeding on the same plant. I learnt from my Guru, a naturalist that its that of the giant red eye butterfly. I was hoping that I would see it grow into a beautiful butterfly. I watched it everyday but one day it vanished. Maybe it became a pupa and a butterfly and disappeared into the vast universe of birds and butterflies while I was busy doing mundane chores in life. Its one of the many mysteries of life that I will never know . Yet I think everyday about the fate of that one little caterpillar which got fat under my eyes and then just vanished into thin air.  

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