Monday, August 24, 2015

Learning to fly (A story)

Like any other day, he went and sat in that park with a book in his hand. He liked noticing around: the trees, people jogging, children playing, flowers blossoming, freshly painted benches. He was relishing the freshly blossomed flowers beside the bench he sat on, until he noticed a colourful butterfly attempting to fly. It seemed that the butterfly was very young; just developed from a caterpillar. He enjoyed noticing her although with a sense of sympathy that she was unable to fly. In order to see the flying attempt closely, he lowered his eyes and came very close to her. She got scared but unable to fly, she just sat on the leaf from which she was attempting to fly.

He just uttered to himself 'Oh don't feel scared. I will not hit you' and in response she moved her head. It seemed to him that the butterfly was listening to him. And after several trials he was convinced that the butterfly could actually listen to her. He started asking questions to the butterfly and surprisingly found that she could answer in 'yes' or 'no'. If she meant 'yes', the butterfly would flap her wings twice and if 'no' she did nothing. He rejoiced at the discovery. He tested the butterfly : "are you a butterfly?" and the butterfly flapped the wing twice and and when she was asked "are you a man?" she did not flap her wings. He asked her many yes or no questions and got reply to all the questions with either two flaps or nil. Finally it was evening and he said bye to the butterfly and asked her whether she wanted to wish him too. The butterfly flapped her wings twice.

Later in the evening, he did a lot of research on net whether the butterfly could listen and understand human language and found that they could not. There was no literature on internet to explain such a phenomenon. It seemed weird to him, but then he was very sure that his butterfly was real. Later, he researched on net, various theories and principles on how butterflies fly.

Next day, he went to the butterfly who was again attempting to fly. He narrated her whatever he learnt on youtube as to how butterflies fly. The butterfly applied the theory (told to her by the new friend) and she could actually fly.

Everyday he went and sat on the same bench and in the evening would talk to the butterfly who would flap her wings in affirmation. He was so happy in the digital replies of his new friend. He would tell her about everything predominantly the office and his ex-girlfriend. The butterfly would just listen quietly and at times just show  her different stunts in the sky. Everyday, he felt light as the butterfly became his colorful diary he would confess into.

One day, he was promoted in the office and was asked to change his location to Mumbai. He gladly accepted the offer as it was a good sign in his career (although he was sad that he would miss his new friend). So in the evening he told the butterfly about the offer and asked the butterfly whether she was sad. The butterfly did not flap the wings. When he asked her whether she was happy, she flapped. He told her that he was initially skeptical about Mumbai but now that she is happy, he will have no regrets. He told that his new office was close to Marine drive and that every evening post work he will sit there as he really enjoyed the sea and the lights.

Post a final goodbye, he moved to Mumbai and sat at Marine drive often. He missed his butterfly friend a lot because the absorbing sea was not able to supplant the diary she had become. One fine evening while he was sitting at Marine drive, he was surprisingly delighted to find his colorful friend hovering joyously. He rejoiced at the idea that his friend had traveled all the way to meet him. That evening he told her everything about Mumbai, everything from the day he left Delhi till that very day. He felt so happy about it.

When it was the time to leave, the butterfly fluttered her wings a lot as if to say something. But he was so happy at the sight of the butterfly that he did not notice it much.

Next day, he came to marine drive and sat for hours but the butterfly did not come. It happened for days but he could not see the butterfly until he rewinded his last meeting with the butterfly in his mind. He realised that she wanted to say something to him but was handicapped between a 'yes' and a 'no'. He sat there and smiled at the nostalgia of onesidedness of his talks with the butterfly....
I felt


swati said...

Every etched story has an unetched hidden story... Touching!

dream weaver said...

What did the butterfly wanted to say, what did it symbolize

Prakriti said...

Beautiful story, as always, my friend and beloved teacher.
I'm intrigued by the ending as well, but that just helps me create a thousand stories in my head. Thank you for this post (Your cousin is lucky to have you).

- Prakriti

Unknown said...

one sided answers of butterfly....