Flutter By

A butterfly is seen as a personification of a person’s soul – whether they are living, or dead, according to a Japanese legend, and indeed it is for only those who marvel at their charm as they flutter by know well. A delicately crafted butterfly from a chrysalis is one of the finest creations of nature. Let us dive into a rational world of these marvels, far from the scientific mind-boggling terms that hold utmost importance but not the delicacy of these intricately-designed-beauties as we ought to perceive.

How do they get their rainbow colors, you ask? One mythology expresses it in the best way to suit human nature! According to this myth, the Creator felt sorry for the children when he realized that their destiny was to grow old and become wrinkled, fat, blind and weak. Hence, he gathered beautiful colors from various sources such as the sunlight, leaves, flowers, and the sky. These colors were put into a magical bag and presented to the children. When the bag was opened by the children, colored butterflies flew out, enchanting the children who had never seen anything so beautiful. Interestingly, the butterflies also sang which further delighted the children. However, songbirds complained to the Creator because they were jealous that butterflies were both so beautiful and could sing like birds. Hence, the Creator withdrew the ability to sing from butterflies. And, hence butterflies are so beautifully colored, but are now silent.

Whether you live in a huddled city or countryside, you will have a glimpse of a butterfly flutter by and if you are lucky, it might just land in your balcony – on your rose plant, or the tube light! With an uninvited guest at your house – even if you do not know what it’s called – you sure would enjoy its company – and perhaps offer it a drop of sugary water! According to Japanese mythology, if a butterfly visits your guestroom, a person whom you most love is coming to see you – so you might welcome this uninvited guest with some honey!

Superstitions apart, but who wouldn’t want a cute little visitor that demands nothing but a place in your house or rather some sympathy in your heart? Some understanding that demands less than what you consume – that it was their haven before, now we are here. Now they adjust to our habitat. There was once a time, not a hundred years ago – when butterflies now seen only in forest pockets fluttered freely in our cities. All that has changed, but it can still be reversed – as your balcony has the potential as much as a butterfly garden, what needs to be done is plantation of indigenous-butterfly-attracting-plants!

Only then will you witness the greatest ever accomplishment of nature – metamorphosis. Born out of the chrysalis, and from a spiny many-legged caterpillar – butterflies are a symbol of rebirth, regeneration and happiness according to one legend and to think in a rational way – it indeed is true! With so many legends, stories and poems written over years for these little flutter by’s, you and I can do much more than be mesmerized by their beauty.

What we need is a little space for them in our backyards or balcony to attract them with the fragrance of our garden. Again, you need not be an expert but a nature-lover, for only those who appreciate the true nature of nature, understands the reason behind the existence of every living creature!

List of Garden Plants to attract butterflies in India:
1. Lantana camara (exotic species)
2. Tridax procumbens
3. Bryophyllum
4. Lemon
5. Curry leaf
6. Achyranthus aspera
7. Alternenthera sessilis
8. Hibiscus cannabinus
9. Ageratum conyzoides
10. Canna indica
11. Duranta plumeri
12. Mussanda frondosa
13. Sida acuta
14. Ixora coccinia
15. Ipomea nil

Butterflies on the right:

1. Common Jezebel
2. Common Silverline
3. Red Pierrot
4. Common Grass Yellow

Butterflies on the left:

1. Psyche
2. Lime Blue
3. Tailed Jay