Monday, 8 February 2016

Impact of visit to house of butterflies

Can there be a house of butterflies? I was posed this question when I was told that yes indeed Peter’s bungalow was a house of butterflies. We Indians are apt at asking questions about the things we know and I was no exception to it. The thought of being in a house full of butterflies transported me to my peppy childhood. Such was its impact. I became again a four year old boy who was chasing the butterflies. Yes butterflies yellow and red, brown and black. The butterflies kept on running in my imagination until I visited Peter’s bungalow.

The house of butterflies was in the hills. Now this was icing on the cake. I loved the hills and I loved the butterflies too. My car maneuvered its way from Delhi to Bhimtal through many small towns. Unfortunately there was nothing worth visiting in these small towns. There was traffic con-gestation everywhere like the one in the big cities. I wondered if indeed I was going to the right place. But house full of butterflies was enough of motivation for me to tolerate all these inconveniences. I knew that the word tal meant lake in the language of the mountains. It was enough consolation for me that indeed I was going into the hills.

My car came to a halt before a European style bungalow. It had a large open space in the front. It ended in a row of well tended plants. Like any other property of that era, the drive way sloped upwards from the entrance . There was a little bench on the raised grassy area. It was facing the gate. An old man, who was perhaps the caretaker of the house welcomed me. “Is this the house of the butterflies?” I asked him. Curiosity and enthusiasm was coursing through me. As stated earlier I had become a child again.
“Yes this is the house of the butterflies.” He said.

It was Frederick Smetacke Jr. who had an impressive collection of butterflies. They are displayed on every wall of this house. Hence the name house of the butterflies. I wished the butterflies were alive. I wished that they flew in front of my own eyes. Yet the collection was impressive. There were butterflies of every colour and size, which the human mind can’t even imagine. Peter Smetacek, who is the brother of Frederick Smetacke Jr. who runs the museum of butterflies in Bhimtal. Peter Smetacek is creator and curator of the museum as well. There is an entry fee of rupees one hundred for visit of the museum. But believe me it is worth it.

When I was returning from the museum my mind was full of thoughts. Everybody should have a passion and we must rigorously follow it. Frederick Smetacke Jr. left behind a house of butterflies. We may leave something else for the posterity. Such was the impact of visit to the house of butterflies.
This blog post is inspired by the blogging marathon hosted on IndiBlogger for the launch of the #Fantastico Zica from Tata Motors. You can apply for a test drive of the hatchback Zica today. 


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