Tuesday, November 5, 2013


An unusual name for today's butterfly - Psyche ( Leptosia nina) . This is a late comer to our garden, arrives at about 11 AM and stays well until about 2 PM. 

What fascinates me about this beauty, is its flight. Sometimes it just drifts like a small piece of paper that floats in the air while at other times, it has this random jerky flight, that makes predicting its flight path next to impossible. The flight of this butterfly has also resulted it in getting some nice names like 'wandering snowflake' and flip flop.

Well this also puts me into a story telling mode. The story of Cupid and Psyche. Psyche was the youngest of three princesses and was so transcendentally beautiful, that Aphrodite herself was jealous of her. This jealousy meant that no mortal dared to aspire the honour of her hand. Hence as her sisters were married, Psyche remained unwedded. Her father consulted the oracle of Delphi and managed to get her married to Cupid. Cupid had put a condition that Psyche should only value his love and not her form and so should never see him. For some time Psyche was obedient to this injunction of her immortal spouse, but slowly her curiosity got the better of her. So one day, she woke up in the middle of the night and took a lamp and slowly approached the couch on which Cupid was sleeping. There she saw the beautiful form of the God of love and was overcome by surprise and admiration. Psyche stooped down to gaze at him more closely and unwittingly dropped some burning oil on his shoulder. Cupid woke up and saw Psyche looking at him. He sorrowfully reproached her and spreading his wings flew away. The distraught Psyche tried to end her life by jumping into the nearest river. But Pan, the god of shepherds, saved her and consoled her. After a long unwinding story, beyond the scope of this post. Psyche was made to perform many harsh tasks set by Cupids mother Venus. Jupiter then made her immortal and Psyche and Cupid were married again. The name Psyche is both 'Soul' and 'Butterfly' in Greek.