Metamorphosis

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Crawling you may be right now

But hold your head up high

It’s really caterpillars that

Turn into butterflies

(Image: Up-close at the Stratford Butterfly Farm, UK)

Dude Looks Like A Lady!

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Of all the things in the world, I would never ever in a million years want to be a male LADY-bug. Think of all the cruel jokes the other insect species would make; it just gets my head spinning. Having said that, I’ve always wanted to see these beautiful creatures up-close and luckily while visiting the Kenilworth Castle last year, I stumbled upon a few of these hiding inside the pavement cracks. Their vibrant polka-dotted exteriors give them a very happy-go-lucky feel, but on closer inspection, I saw something that actually made me sad. This particular bug, shown in the picture above, has a dent in its (gender unknown) left wing; I don’t know what might have caused it, but I really felt for the little guy/gal. It kind of made me reflect how fragile we all are, and that no matter how happy we may seem on the outside, all of us harbor some sadness within.

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A short while later, I saw another bug approaching the dented one and both of them receded further into the crevice, crawling at their respective paces, together. It was refreshing to see how the dent on one’s wing did not seem to have an impact on their mutual relationship. We all have our flaws (visible or not), some major, some minor, but in order to truly accept each other, we need to look past them and love each other unconditionally; funny how a couple of bugs can inspire you to understand the nature of things in general.

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Fluttering Across Stratford-upon-Avon

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Nestled in the heart of Warwickshire, UK, is Stratford-upon-Avon, a town made famous for its association with Shakespeare; to be honest, that was the only reason I wanted to visit. Never in my wildest dreams had I imagined falling head-over-heels in love with this magical place. It was refreshing to see the laid-back carefree attitude of the people in general, enjoying the beautiful sunny day with their loved ones, walking their dogs or getting some icecream from the truck; it just seemed to portray a general sense of well-being.

If you want to escape the fast-paced city life and need a few days of R&R, Stratford is the place to be. There are plenty of activities in and around Stratford that you could indulge in; I’m mentioning some of my favorites here:

  • Visit the Stratford Butterfly Farm; consistently voted one of the best attractions in the UK, this is one place I could’ve spent an entire day in
  • Visit Shakespeare’s house and Anne Hathaway’s cottage
  • Take a stroll along River Avon or just sit at one of the benches, take in the sights and breathe in the mildly fragrant air
  • Get in on one of the ferries or row a boat on the river
  • Attend a play at the Royal Shakespeare Theatre and get the full 360-degree Shakespearean experience
  • Wander the streets of Stratford soaking in all the history the town has to offer

Here are a few highlights of my day there; so without further Ado, let’s get on with it:

Fearing Harmless Canines

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Walking along River Avon, I came across this beautiful dog. I asked the owners if I could take a few photos, to which they graciously agreed. As I bent down to take some pictures, the dog came running towards me. This was the last photo I took before nearly dropping my camera and hastily evading this magnificent creature.

I don’t know what causes this deep-seated fear of dogs. I recall an incident in 1996-97 when a dog (probably rabid) chased me for half-a-mile trying to catch up with me; I ran as fast as my legs could carry my fat, bulky frame, and breathed a sigh of relief only after stepping inside my school gate.

Everyone has fears that they need to overcome and this one is mine; let’s see if I get the courage to pat a dog on the head one day without assuming it would bite my head off almost instantaneously.

Enough said. Enjoy!

Beauty Within Me

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Humans are, by nature, superficial beings and try as we might, we form an initial (instinctual) assessment of a person (or a thing) by the way he, she or it looks. What we need to train ourselves in is to ignore the first impressions, peel off the layers and develop a deeper understanding in order to truly judge someone (or something).

Flowers, however, are beautiful inside and out. Enjoy!