Metamorphosis


A baby is born. The baby starts tracking moving objects with her eyes. The mom takes her to the park; the baby’s eyes follow a fluttering butterfly. She points out and babbles.

Image courtesy – http://www.cliparting.com

The baby becomes a toddler. She plays in the park with her mom. She runs and chases a pretty yellow butterfly, flitting about like a butterfly herself, secure and comfortable, knowing that her mom is around. She comes back to share a giggle, or to take a biscuit from her mom.

Soon the toddler is in school, learning to hold a pencil, and learning how to draw a beautiful butterfly; learning to colour it with her imagination, adding eyes and a smile, and taking it home, where it is proudly displayed on the refrigerator.

The child grows older, and learns about the life cycle of a butterfly. The child learns about transformation, and learns to label parts, and is awed by science, and shares her learnings with her family.

The child transforms into a teenager, trying to find her own unique identity, while also trying to fit in with her clique of friends. She sees the butterfly as a tattoo, as an expression of who she is – colourful, independent and vibrant.

The teenager grows into a young woman, who seeks love, and sees romance and magic in the beautiful butterflies in the park, as she and her spouse take a leisurely stroll.

The young woman becomes a mother, and points out colourful butterflies to her little son. Butterflies have now become school projects, and she sees them in craft paper, and tubes of paint.

The young mother is now the mom of teenagers. She has more time, and takes up painting. She paints colourful flowers and butterflies.

Her children move on to university, to their own careers and independent lives, to marriage and kids.

She is now a grandmother, baking butterfly shaped cookies for her grandchildren, and pointing out butterflies to them in her beautiful garden.

She is old, and frail now. Her grandchildren are older, and take her for walks in the park. She looks at the butterflies with her feeble eyesight.

She marvels at creation, and at this beautiful metamorphosis that is inevitable.

Neighbours


Today, we have more smartphones and tablets than the number of members in a family. We sit on our couches or slouch on our beds, busy connecting with people from around the world.

But the world was not like this at all, when I was growing up. All social networking was done face to face.

We had neighbours. We grew up with them, till we went to college, got jobs, married and moved out.

We played for hours on the street, till the street lights came on. We played riotous games, and sometimes spent entire evenings looking for a missing tennis ball.

We formed numerous clubs, drawing inspiration from Enid Blyton books, and many other childrens’ movies. We put up stalls, and all kinds of shows for our parents.

We attended exhibitions of butterflies and other insects put up by the neighbourhood boys. We went into the neighbouring woods to collect eucalyptus leaves, which we used to light bonfires.

We spent all our time in and out of each others’ homes, bringing plates filled with lunch, and eating together in a friend’s garden.

We had fights, silly squabbles and long battles that sometimes lasted an entire season.

We eagerly opened boxes of yummy snacks that neighbours sent to us. We went in droves to the home where the first television made its appearance.

Image courtesy – http://www.fotosearch.com

We watched the glorious Indian Monsoon with our noses plastered to the windows – howling winds, lashing rain and falling trees.

We watched the first frost of winter, and gobbled up piping hot venn pongal that was served in the neighbourhood temple.

We knew a lot about each other and our families. We lived at a time when we got ‘live updates’ about each others’ lives.

We had lovely neighbours.