Mayfly or butterfly?

Ive built walls,
A fortress deep and mighty,
That none may penetrate…

She went about her daily work, crossing her arms at her abdomen, closing herself off. The phone rang and it was him. He was sweet and fun. But why was he calling everyday. She had to tell him off. She couldn’t afford all this. The last burn was bad enough so she told him that daily calls made her uncomfortable. Can I call you once in two days then he quipped. Smiling reluctantly she let it go at that.

I have my books
And my poetry to protect me;
I am shielded in my armor,
Hiding in my room, safe within my womb.
I touch no one and no one touches me.

Work was her salvation. She buried herself in pursuit of excellence. After all no one could ever ever take that away from her. That would remain with her. It was tangible. It wasn’t like people and emotions. But these days she found herself wondering about him. She wondered if she could take a chance once and see where it takes her. What if she did enjoy the ride? Then again what if she got hurt? No, no, let her stay the way she was.

Dont talk of love,
But Ive heard the words before;
Its sleeping in my memory.
I wont disturb the slumber of feelings that have died.
If I never loved I never would have cried.

She was humming Simon and Garfunkel again. Story of her life. She had forced herself in a confinement, feeling nothing. It was all closed up yes, but it was safe. And some of the people who led her to this shell did it because they want to protect her isn’t it? She owed it to them, so she should respect their wishes and stay on in the cocoon. But his voice kept calling her. And despite everything she was going to meet him today. She told herself it was just curiosity.

The meeting went well. She didn’t remember the last time she had laughed and teased so much. She felt young again, really her age, not like the wisened self she usually maintained. She met him again and again. Don’t talk of love….

But she couldn’t help it. He was slowly easing her out of the cocoon. She had managed to crawl out of it like a caterpillar. It didn’t hurt. But what if it hurt later? What about those protectors of hers? Was she betraying them? She didn’t know. But somehow getting out didn’t feel wrong. Fly my baby, he said. Don’t cross your arms against the world. Open up and let me in. I want to be within that circle of your arms too. Yes, she wanted that too.

She didn’t know how her protectors would feel. She tried telling them she wanted to try flying. But they didn’t seem to understand. What if you end up as a May fly and not a butterfly they said. She feared that too. What if she hurt him with her frenzied flight or by retreating? She didn’t know the answer to that too. All she knew was that she wanted to try flying. Maybe she would be a May fly but atleast she would know what it is to fly. She wouldn’t die wondering how it would be. Even if for a brief bit, she would feel the wind beneath her wings and he would help her find whatever piece of sky was meant for her. Together they would find love and hope, even if it wasn’t meant forever. They would atleast have had it truly for once. For that one moment of true love, she will take the chance. Never mind how it ends. All that matters is the beauty of the journey isn’t it?


  1. My dear Kajal,

    I saw you on TV the other day on the banks of the Mithi River.
    One day at a time. “Take it easy,” Studs Terkel said, “But take it.” The journey is its own reward.

    Peace and love,
    – Joe.

  2. This was good!

    I'm now just wondering why did I initiall put reading this piece off!

    I think, we can save ourselves from hurt despite being deceived, if we remember that we cease to share ourselves with others the moment we stop valuing them. I wouldn't feel violated if the one who deceives becomes deserving of my contempt, not for deceiving me, but, for not being a good human being (and hence, being undeserving of my love) by harboring a potential and intent to deceive proven by the very act of deceiving (me, as a case in point).

    But yes, I could be afraid of falling in love not only because I may end up hurt, but also because, the time I spend being in love is seen as a 'waste' in retrospect, because the same passion and time could've been directed elsewhere (say, studies, job, hobby, blogging!), which would've led me to 'something' as against a failed relationship, which leads me to 'nothing' except a few new lessons.

    Very nice post, again!


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