Nature

On passing flutters…

Fly away, pretty moth, to the shade
Of the leaf where you slumbered all day
Be content with the moon and the stars, pretty moth
And make use of your wings while you may…
 
But tho’ dreams of delight may have dazzled you quite
They at last found it dangerous play
Many things in this world that look bright, pretty moth
Only dazzle to lead us astray.

– Thomas Haynes Bayly 

Yellow Tussar Silk Moth, Vengurla, Konkan Maharashtra, India

Moths paint a rather solemn subsistence, unlike butterflies that refuse to shed the restlessness of their wingless adolescence, the moth sits and ponders, and ponders, till some neon or natural iridescence compels it to shrug off the monotony of the perch… a human hindrance to a celestial connection as it goes, but that is perhaps the least intrusive of the lot… since ‘tis not the flowers but the buds that are more coveted here, with caterpillars that are harvested (read Silk) or consumed

Yellow Tussar Silk Moth, Vengurla, Konkan Maharashtra, India

‘Twas a motley group of individuals listening — through some dry pockets of the incessant monsoon rains — to an empowerment lore of a bunch of womenfolk inhabiting the creeks around Vengurla when a colleague directed my attention towards an innocuous pillar on the jetty playing host to the brightest shade of yellow in the landscape… closer examination, with all due credit to the considerate Lepidoptera, revealed it to be a Golden Emperor Moth

For all the hullabaloo on animal cruelty, ‘tis surprising how low profile the ethical discourses around silk rearing remain, boiling an egg from reared poultry is one thing, boiling a half grown creature alive that is the pupa is another level altogether… but seldom do expensive tastes go without a barbaric backstory… 

Yellow Tussar Silk Moth, Vengurla, Konkan Maharashtra, India

But animal activism is the order of day, and you’d easily find a treasure trove of resources on ‘Ahimsa Silk’ touted as the next haute couture… not an easy task to take a sustainable thought to tangible impact though, and considering that the mortal ways of the winged beauty do not look like notching up many a mark on our calendars, we can only take solace in perches like these where it settles awhile, ruminating on their surrounds as we ruminate upon them…

Yellow Tussar Silk Moth, Vengurla, Konkan Maharashtra, India

Golden Emperor Moth, Vengurla, Konkan Maharashtra, June 2018

Author: Parth Joshi

Allured by the outdoors, the author is made up in parts of that quintessential lost soul wreathing under the pangs of biophilia in a desk job, a wannabe elegist mostly ending up in dungeons of poetasters and an optimist waiting for the senility of the modern world to fade away while sampling shoots and leaves. In saner times, he has a keen interest in areas pertaining to tourism, history, agriculture and climate change, especially with respect to historical interpretations, emerging technologies and future livelihoods. An avid trekker, runner, cyclist, birder and photographer, he is more often than not found gloating over anything hinterland, on foot or over computer monitors, and fantasizing solutions that can foster inclusive growth and sustainable livelihoods for communities at the grassroots.

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