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Being at the right place at the right time is sometimes what its all about. Take the above picture of the butterfly for example. There I was the other day, draped over the half wall of the roof top terrace, gazing intently at the Karaka tree that stood on the front yard next-door. It certainly was no whim, there was reason to my standing and staring. A couple of days back I had seen butterflies fluttering around the karaka tree’s tiny flowers. 

The tree itself is a magnificent specimen, but my neighbor had had its head and limbs cut off, reducing it to nothing but a a trunk with a couple of bare branches. But, from this shorn off stage the determined tree had risen with a vengeance and covered whatever was left of itself with gloriously thick and glossy green leaves. What’s more, it had subsequently flowered too, attracting butterflies.

So, there I was, waiting for butterflies to show up when I noticed a blur of blue and sprung into action. The butterfly had alighted on the leaves of the nearby mango tree. It was a Centaur Oakblue. Now, this fella is all deceptively brown on the ‘outside’, I mean with its wings closed. But when those wings are spread out, oh boy, the stunning blue hits you. That day, the Oakblue briefly spread out its wings. That’s all the time I got to click a picture because it vanished soon after. Being at the right place at the right time had paid off.

Today morning I was walking in my backyard when I saw sunlight filtering through the leaves of the guava tree. It looked so beautiful. There was one particular leaf that caught my eye making me gasp at the sheer beauty of it. The leaf already on its way to old age, the sun’s rays filtering through the green and rust gave it a jewel like look. Fortunately I had my phone with me and could capture it immediately. In a while the sun’s rays would have moved and the picture would have been lost. Right place, right time.

It’s no secret that I follow Luci around trying to get a picture of hers. Not that I have paucity, my laptop and phone are full of her pictures, some clear, others blurry, because she is past-master at moving at the very last moment depriving mom of that perfect shot. But that doesn’t faze me. I march on regardless. Today morning, and here there’s a slight change in the being at the right place at the right time scenario, I saw Luci sitting at the right spot and so I hid myself at the right place and waited patiently for her to turn her head my way. And when she didn’t for a long long time, aware as she was that mom was up to no good, I shrieked ‘Eeek!’ in the  save-me-from-the-spider/lizard voice, thus creating the right time, and she sprang into action, giving me a shot of hers with ears flying. Not perfect, but it will do for today.

©Shail Mohan 2018

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