There is something magical about the Monsoon season in India. It brings so much joy and is such a relief after the hot and dry summer. Puddles, green patches, cold breeze, flowers, butterflies, grasshoppers, waterfalls is like a monsoon package.
I have been very fortunate to have lived very close to the nature throughout my childhood. and probably that’s why there was always a subconscious attempt to capture these moments and experiences in my paintings. One such painting I made when I was about 11 years old was a memory drawing of ‘Children catching butterflies in the Monsoon’.
As a child, me and my friends like many others used to catch the butterflies, collect them in the jars and count them at the end of the day to check who’s collected them the most. It used to be some kind of game for us. Though it might sound a bit ruthless, but it used to be so much fun at that point of time.
But that was 20 years back, today things have changed so much. I really wish I can offer similar childhood experiences to my daughters by making that environment available to them in some form. I am constantly looking for such opportunities where I can bring them close to the Nature. Scott, a friend of mine who himself has two little beautiful children, mentioned about Butterfly Garden to me; a simple Butterfly Harvesting Kit where you can actually harvest Caterpillars and see them turn into Butterflies. This entire cycle known as ‘The Metamorphosis’ of a Caterpillar turning into a Cocoon and then into a Butterfly happens in less than a month. You can then release them into a nearby park back to the nature where they belong.
When I bought the kit for Kashvi, my two year old daughter, it was so satisfying to see her excitement, the way she woke up in the mornings and went straight to check if the Cocoons had hatched into Butterflies. She helped me feed them oranges and bananas, sprinkle water on their nest to keep it moist, and we also kept a flowering pot for them. They must have been very happy with the environment we created for them. No wonder they lay eggs. Did you know the Painted Lady Butterfly eggs are blue in colour ? I had to google it to find out what the tiny dots on the leaves were. I dint think the eggs would survive, but to my surprise the eggs further hatched and we had hundreds of more Caterpillars. A population outburst and bit of a crisis! so we finally decided to distribute them to our friends who were more than happy to have them.
You can order the Butterfly Garden Kit online from Insect Lore.
Seen here is my ‘Art from Past’ a poster colour memory drawing dated 1991, of ‘Children catching butterflies in the monsoon’. Also seen are the images of the Insect Lore Butterfly Kit with Painted Lady Butterflies, and my 2 year old daughter, Kashvi with the Caterpillars, Cocoons and Painted Lady Butterflies and the eggs.