Happy Dasara / Dussehra and may good win over all the evil in this world.
Leading upto Dasara is Navratri, where people worship different forms of Goddess Durga over 9 nights (hence “Nav ratri”). At the start of Navratri, everyone looks out for the colour that signifies each day of the 9 days.
[This post was updated with new sightings till December 2021. A total of 38 species were identified.]
All of us have surely encountered butterflies at some point in time (apart from the butterflies in our stomachs!). We learn about them in primary school. Sometimes they fly into us and make us jump. Often we see them just flutter by, so quick that we can’t even give them a second glance.
Ever since lockdown, we haven’t really been anywhere in Mumbai. No restaurants, no malls, no parks – except for the park in our Whispering Palms Complex, that is usually quite empty. Over the last few months during our daily walks, we looked forward to seeing the different birds in our backyard. More recently though, we noticed the many different butterflies – not surprising, given the sprawling gardens with abundance of trees and flowers, some wild and some nurtured.
It’s not everyday that one sees a pretty flying creature inside a 9th floor apartment in Mumbai. One that is not a pest or predator that is.
I watched it, settled on the floor for a little while. Ran to the cupboard and grabbed my camera, returning to find that it had not moved. Then it fluttered off and I followed, not to let it get out of sight. As long as it was not being bothered, it was fine sitting at a spot for a few minutes. But I guess I kept bothering it, trying to get close. I switched lenses for better shots. The light was not good so I needed the flash. Carpet, floor, kitchen towel… it settled here and there. The pictures didn’t come easily, but the effort was satisfactory! And then it vanished.
The Bombay Natural History Society’s (BNHS) Conservation Education Centre (CEC) is an unexpectedly large patch of greenery right inside a busy metropolis like Mumbai. Located next to the Sanjay Gandhi National Park and Film City in Goregaon East, the centre conducts various “edutainment” programmes for all age groups, on a regular basis and on request.
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