" Trees are Earth's endless effort to speak to the listening heaven." ~ Rabindranath Tagore

Environment
A New Beginning
Chandrika allows the wonders of nature to inspire her towards new beginnings, again and again.

The morning was fresh as the smell of dew drops! It was as if the sun had just turned a brand new page of life - all bright and ready for a new beginning....For it was a new day, wasn't it? A brand new day.. A day with it's own hopes and joys, dreams and promises. Above all promises! And it seemed as if everyone had turned over yesterday's page, waiting and wanting to welcome the day. With all it's magic and its mystery!

Everyone did I say? No! Not quite! For, out in the garden, Komal, the soft white lily, seemed still stuck in her yesterday! "I'm really, really quite fed up of all that is happening", she complained to her friend Khubsoorat, the rose. "It isn't easy being a lily, in the world today, you know", she continued. "And what exactly are we asking? Just a chance to bloom and blossom, spread fragrance and freshness to one and all".

"What's all the whining about?", interrupted Kamal, the lotus from a near by pond.

Environment
Beautiful Beasts
Paradise in the Wild
The Ocean:Conquest
A Source of Solace
Sighting the Ocean
The Ocean in Verse
Childhood Dream
Hunt for Indian Tiger

Adventure activities
Mountaineering
Rafting
Paragliding
Rock Climbing
Scuba Diving


Leisure Holidays
Wild Life
Heritage
Pilgrimage

What can you know about my condition?, moaned Komal. "Every morning, I wake up and know that surely there will be all kinds of problems I was just waiting for the sun's first rays, to be able to open my petals...with freshness and joy. And you know what happened? A whole group of horrid boys came running along, and plucked all the flowers along my branch....It was just by chance that I was saved in the nick of time...a friend of theirs called them! And away they went with a handful of the most fragrant lilies!
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"It must have been a really frightening experience", murmured Khubsoorat, full of concern.

"What must have been frightening?", a small little voice interrupted. As Komal looked up with irritation, she saw Chanchal, the multi-coloured butterfly, flitting and floating from flower to flower. Humming happily, Chanchal was always the symbol of joy and gladness in the forest. It seemed as if she had not a care in the world. And now, as she spoke to Komal, she was the very picture of idyllic living.

"What will you know of the problems of being a flower? All you have to do is dance and be merry all day through! Never a thought about yesterday. Or even tomorrow."

"Why, Komal, what is your problem?", asked Chanchal as she moved rapidly over the blossoming petals, sucking honey from one, picking pollen from the other.

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"Problem?", groaned Komal, as she looked around at the flowers, the nodding leaves and the high and mighty trees. Now, she wants to know my problem! "O.K. Let me tell you my problem. Two days ago, do you know what happened? I was still a teeny, weeny itsy, bitsy little bud, resting on my leaves. Peeping through half closed petals, guess what I saw? A huge, fat bloated worm, all thick with mischief, making his way towards my friends. Crunch, went one petal, crunch-crunch went another, and when he had finished off the flower in it's entirety, he wiped his swollen belly right across my branch and moved on. And then, as if from nowhere, along came that silly sparrow, and pecked with all her might at the remaining flowers! And if you escape the worms and the birds, the boys and the bees, don't forget the wind ! For, before you know it, he too will huff and puff and blow your petals right off your very stem." Komal finally stopped for breath. She looked Chanchal right in the eye. "And you want to know what my problem is, right?"

Chanchal just shook her wings and with a laugh moved right on her way. "Just look at her," grumbled Komal. "What can she know of what my sorrows are. Life for a butterfly is sure one big party! Oh! To be in her place. I wish, how I wish I could be a butterfly!"

Whoosh! Whoosh! A strong gust seemed to blow out of thin air. And as things settled down, Komal seemed to have vanished. For, you see, she had made a wish just when the Wish Fairy was flying past her. And so, Komal was now, actually a butterfly. Much to Chanchal's amusement. For, now, flitting around her, was Komal, trying hard to make her wings work. After all, being a butterfly was certainly not child's play! "But at least," thought Chanchal, "at least this is a beginning. Maybe, just maybe, Komal will be happy as butterflies are meant to be. Just maybe.."

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But then, just as Komal finally learnt the wonderful magic of her wings, who should come swooping down at her, but one more of those horrid little boys, with a wide, wide net in his mean little hands. For the first time, Komal realised that her life was now certainly in great danger. Flitting fast to avoid the net, Komal at last saw a pretty little flower. "Just the place to rest", she thought. "Oops! Easy does it", yelled Chanchal. Lifting herself up at the very last moment, Komal was just in time to see the pretty little flower closing it's tender petals to make a very dangerous trap indeed!

"Didn't you know?" grinned Chanchal, "that's an insect eating flower. It has butterflies and worms for breakfast, lunch and dinner!"

"A flower and eating insects?" exclaimed Komal, "what a narrow escape!"

"Not so fast", danced Chanchal around her, "if you don't watch out, the birds will get to you, if the flowers don't! And before Chanchal knew what was happening, Komal, the butterfly, just continued, where Komal, the lily had stopped. She burst forth: "You call this a life? Imagine, not a moment's peace. Not a minute's quiet! Enemies everywhere! Constantly flying, constantly flitting! Who wants to be a butterfly? I should think, much better any day, is the life of a flower!"

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And can you imagine? The Wish Fairy was just going home, as Komal made that last remark! And before she quite knew what was happening, there was Komal back where she belonged, a flower in all her glory! And then, as she sat back looking at her friends, she spotted Chanchal, all over again, full of life, full of joy! Bursting with the thrill of being alive! "But come to think of it," thought Komal, "what could be the joy in a butterfly's life?" As far as she knew, it was dangerous and extremely painful!

And then, as she bent forward, she could hear the faint words of the song little Chanchal was humming. And it certainly held the secret to Chanchal's happiness. And who knows...perhaps ours as well? For Chanchal's song said: "Why look at the past or future- Life is one big adventure? Let your voice ring, let your heart sing. For each day is a new beginning!"

Here's to new beginnings, each day, in many different ways.


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Editor: Romola Butalia       (c) India Travelogue. All rights reserved.