Happiness is a Butterfly

“Happiness is a butterfly, Try to catch it like every night, It escapes from my hands into moonlight” sings Lana Del Rey in her intoxicating voice, lulling one into a slumber of thoughts. Her magical voice guides one’s soul through a labyrinth of amazement into a world where time stands still, where a million yellow butterflies flutter their wispy wings, silently, stirring the air into a gentle breeze, occluding the blue sky in pinpricks of yellow, likening the wonderland into a million twinkling stars shining forth in broad daylight. Is happiness really a butterfly, sitting very still upon the delicate petals of a velvety flower, breaking forth from her reverie the next minute? Does she never settle, always elusive, and escapes before one can feast his tired eyes in the riot of colours that her wings reflect, gold, orange, red? Is happiness elusive like a butterfly, glittering and drawing us into her magic, disappearing before one can trace the wonder with his eager fingers?

If I were to ask myself this question some time ago, I would have acquiesced, nodding, fluttering my head in complete agreement. I would have said that happiness is momentary, recalling the lines of a Hindi poem that I had read years ago which described happiness as a fleeting strike of lightning between two grey rainy clouds of sorrow. I would have argued that a grey hue of melancholy is the predominant colour in the canvas of our lives where happiness makes a fleeting appearance like a stroke of yellow paint randomly brushed across the overpowering grey.  Romanticizing sorrow, I would have said that happiness has to be sought, is the mystical hidden Leprechaun’s pot of gold at the end of a rainbow, and keeps fading before one can bathe in its manna of joy. I recall, growing up my only answer to ‘your ambition when you grow up’ in the slam-books used to be ‘happy’ always assuming that sorrow was inherent, overpowering and ubiquitous. I would smirk at those who blatantly and grossly believed that happiness was just there, seldom to never agreeing. They laughed at me, and I laughed back at their ignorance, while I had been ignorant all along!

Happiness is always present around us, and so is melancholy; there perhaps is no clear distinguishing demarcation between the two emotions for they blur and merge. They do not wail around us like the unannounced burst of a sudden gale. Happiness cannot be entirely likened to the pleasantly surprising magical pixie dust of gold nor can melancholy embody a turbulent suffocating smog of dampness, but together they ebb and fall like a lulling breeze, soundless and gentle. They live inside us, with us, in the convolutions of the mind, in our senses, waiting to be embraced and accepted with equal gusto and vigour, patiently waiting upon us as we choose one over the other.

No I have not attained Nirvana, nor have I learnt it all but of this I am quite certain-happiness was all along around me, smiling at my ignorance, at my blindness, she was not the sudden strike of purple lightning, leaving me with a loud thunderous bang, signalling her departure. She had been waiting for me to wake up from a murky slumber, patiently observing as I cleanse my ignorance, smiling effervescently to her mate, melancholy, and the yang to her yin. Happiness may seem to scurry like a dancing butterfly but in her supposed absence she leaves behind traces of the powdery joy upon our fingers, reminding us that she is a constant, always present. Happiness is not an elusive winged creature but fluttering and delicate, promising her return, happiness is the quintessential joyous butterfly.

Image Credit : https://www.pexels.com/photo/close-up-of-butterfly-on-plant-248339/

24 thoughts on “Happiness is a Butterfly

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    1. Thank you so much Sudha. I’ve een trying for some time to see everything for what they are, process my thoughts and write them out. Your words of encouragement only push me to keep thinking and writing.

  1. Beautiful and insightful thank you so much for speaking your heart! Bleassings to you *willows in mist**wispy clouds*

  2. Wow, I love that end. You seem to have returned to blogging with a richness of spirit and an almost mystical yet human insight of a true seeker, Parikhit – the latter abundantly evident in your introductory post.
    Your prose is like one of those happy, winged creatures you write of, swaying, flying, gliding effortlessly, leaving golden trails of beauty.

    1. Oh my! That’s quite a comment and I am truly humbled. I took a break, reflected and thought a lot and I’ve trying to write again, lay bare my thoughts. Indeed a never-ending process, aren’t we all seekers. 🙂

      1. I have great faith in these moments we give ourselves to realign. Not that your work wasn’t extraordinary before, now it is even more piercing. It deserves to be read by all. You truly are a gem among writers!

  3. How wonderfully expressed, and wise. This is my fav, “They live inside us, with us, in the convolutions of the mind, in our senses, waiting to be embraced and accepted with equal gusto and vigour, patiently waiting upon us as we choose one over the other.” Amazing. Wonderful post, Parikhit. 🤍

    1. Thank you so much Jeff! It took me a while to arrive at it, to realise that happiness was always inside me; all I had to do was choose to be happy. 🙂
      Thank you again 🙂

      1. You’re most welcome, Parikhit! It’s my complete pleasure. Ah, it takes us all a while. I’m glad you’ve had this realization. It is an important one. Always welcome. ☺️

      2. And once we have, doesn’t it feel liberating. It is a work in progress but we can feel glad that we are treading happily on the right path. 🙂

      3. It does indeed feel liberating. Inside of this understanding the world becomes more vibrant, and each moment is found anew and precious. The right path indeed, I completely agree. ☺️

  4. Dear Parikhit,

    I do hope I got your name right. 🙂

    I love how you draw such vivid imageries in your lyrically, languorous and serene words.

    Your Happiness answer in your slam book reminded me of John Lenon’s answer when he was growing up.
    The teacher asked him: “What would you like to be when you grow up?” and he replied, “Happy”

    I am sure you know of this little tale.

    Wishing more power to your stunning pen and may words find you in the uniquest corners.

    Love and light,

    1. Thank you so much Natasha for your words!
      The comment from you makes it all the more special 🙂
      And yes you got it right, most people mistake it for Parikshit which in Bengali becomes Parikhit but has the same meaning.
      I didn’t know the story of John Lennon replying “happy” when he grows up! Thank you for sharing this. He has written some of the best songs and now I can understand that the wisdom of his songs was a reflection of his wise and beautiful mind.

      Thank you again for stopping by 🙂

      1. Dear Pari,

        I’m so glad you now know that “Great minds think alike.” Lennon and You. :)) He is a true hero.

        Yes, of course I get the Bangla crux around your name, being a Bangali myself. 🙂
        Even I grew up close to the mountains – of Nainital, in a quaint university campus.

        It is absolutely a delight and pleasure to connect with you.

        Love and cheer!

      2. I shall never compare myself with Lennon. I cannot “Imagine” (pun intended :D)

        Ah Nainital is a beautiful little town and yes the many interesting facts of the Bangaliness is only comprehendible to a fellow Bangali 🙂

        It is pleasure to connect with you too Natasha 🙂

      3. Ha! ha! Lenon must be chuckling in his grave, Pari. 🙂

        True that about Nainital and Bengaliness. 🙂
        Absolutely lovely to have met you here.

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