Mr. Caterpillar.

“Mr. Funny caterpillar where are you going…

Mr. Funny caterpillar what are you doing…”

Sang my daughter as she got ready for school and the thought flashed in my mind like it did a hundred times in loop. “Had I placed the caterpillar elsewhere it would not have been alive”, I thought again.

IMG_20161207_094228A few days back after dropping off my daughter at school, I went for my walk. The pavement surrounding the apartment complex is good 500 meters, an excellent walkway. While walking I saw something moving on the pavement beside the parking lot. It was a big beautiful caterpillar wriggling towards the road from the pavement. I have never seen such a big caterpillar. I was amazed at the different ways in which the Almighty brings out life. So beautiful, so unique! I wondered how the butterfly or moth that was inside would look like. I clicked a picture of it on my phone and continued to walk. As I passed the little voice inside me said “help it reach the garden on the other side of the road”. “May be during the next round, the busy hours of traffic are over, so no worries” I replied to myself and left. As I came closer to the corner, where I found the caterpillar during the second round, I started searching for it. There it was smashed on the road. My heart broke into a million pieces. It was not far away from where I found it. Some car smashed it right after I left. I wish I had listened to the little voice. I stood there for some time as all these thoughts passed. Feeling guilty I walked towards my apartment.

While dropping my daughter off to school today, I saw another caterpillar. A cute little colourful one wriggling on the pavement going in the direction of nearby bushes. I started to search frantically for a twig or something to pick it up and place in the bushes. My daughter’s and her grandpa’s chorus stopped and the duo gave me a what-is-wrong-with-her look. I told I want to help the caterpillar. “Not needed” said grandpa, “I will tell you why, after we drop her off” he added.

On the way back, my heart was in my mouth as I neared the bushes. I searched for the caterpillar, there was no trace of it. I was worried and told my dad why I was trying to save the caterpillar. After hearing the whole episode, dad said “You do not have to feel guilty of not saving the caterpillar. The energy that kept the caterpillar alive must have gone into some other body to keep that alive. That caterpillar’s time on earth had to end, to take some other form. If it had to live, you would have just picked it up without even a thought. It was meant to die, as another form was waiting for its life energy. It is alive in some or the other form. Why worry? Lord Krishna says that in Bhagavad Gita. I think you need to read Gita again”. We both went silent thereafter. The song my daughter sang played with a very different meaning in my mind since then.

“Mr. Funny caterpillar where are you going…

Mr. Funny caterpillar what are you doing…”

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4 thoughts on “Mr. Caterpillar.

  1. Uh…Huh, I would have saved the second caterpillar anyway, if I was feeling so strongly about it.
    Not taking action to help living being in distress, hiding behind the philosophy of bhadwadgita can not be right. I wonder if all our interpretations of the great book are right.
    By this logic we should leave an injured man on the road to die, as his time has come…
    Good heartfelt writing by you though
    ..

    1. Thank you for writing in Vandana. The second caterpillar was not injured like an injured man you gave an example of. It was like a healthy man finding the way out. It was not in distress I was, to save it. That’s when my father gave me the advice over my worries on the first caterpillar. It was a sound and healthy caterpillar finding its way out. It was not heading towards the road like the first one. If it was, then I would have definitely taken it off the direction. I am sure it’s instincts would have taken it to the patch of bush next to it, where it wanted to go, I suppose. There are so many caterpillars not all survive, not all die. If they are meant to live no mater what anyone does it will survive. That’s what Bhagavad Gita says. šŸ™‚ keep reading!

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