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  • Samuel John

Peacocks are from Paris

It was one of those lazy sunny afternoons at the bungalow, the kind you hear about in a song by The Kinks, the kind you use to start a story when you can’t think of a better introduction.

Right, so lazy afternoon at the bungalow. Its only inhabitants that day, Jothi-akka, a league of Paniyar gentlemen and a peculiar man from Bangalore obsessed with spiders and the colour blue. Just as this dysfunctional group set off to go about their daily routine, an uncharacteristic amount of shouting came from the direction of the stream.

The bravest of the lot, Jothi-akka, quickly found her trusted staff and led the way(she is India’s ‘women could’ve delivered the ring to Mordor just as easily‘ answer to Gandalf). The gang followed close behind in what could only be described, as the absolute opposite of bravery. Their well-built frames, hidden rather unsuccessfully behind Jothi-akka’s 5 feet of sheer awesomeness. A few moments later, they are joined by the strange man from Bangalore, who went back for his camera on realizing the recipient of the yelling was rather photogenic.

After spending over an hour, with all 14-feet of this enigmatic personality, the group decided it was time to go back and catch up on doing nothing, exactly where each of them had left off.

As the three went their separate ways, the man from Bangalore grew curious when he noticed a new stream that had just started to form; he also grew quite tired of referring to himself in the third person and couldn’t quite remember why he chose to do this in the first place. Walking towards the stream, the strange man spotted fluttering glimpses of cyan and midnight green.

Walking had turned to a crawl, as the man carefully stalked the unsuspecting butterfly. Despite his usual rambling on about how morality is a social construct(influenced by that one time he read Nietzche to sound clever at parties), he had very strong feelings about annoying another life for the sole objective of taking a photograph. He also feels very strongly about the destructive nature of capitalism and putting cheese on a dosa.

Digression, some say, is reflective of brilliance and other flattering words. The butterfly had just settled along the banks of the rivulet. What followed was a moment of magic, that very quickly put tears in his eyes. He watched between two wings, that looked like it would’ve taken the universe all weekend to paint, as she slowly laid her eggs in the stream.

With a memory card full of pictures, a heart full of contentment and pants full of water from the stream, he walked away rather uncomfortably. As he hoped for dry clothes, he also wished his favourite butterfly buddy from Chennai(read: Bath), was around to share the moment.

This story is dedicated to Ruth Sharman, friend, poet and adventurer.


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