Planning a butterfly-themed 16th birthday for Lumiere.

A friend tells me, ‘where I live is just so much concrete, and our days so harried, we has time for birds and butterflies? We do! And we must! And what does Lumiere have to do with butterflies? Why plan a butterfly-themed 16th birthday?

Short-lived, flitting from flower to flower, busy, frisky, with short attention spans. The secret life of a butterfly may also involve basking, mimicking and disguises, mating and ‘mud puddling’.

What do butterflies have in common with a bunch of almost-serious researchers, plodding along one year at a time, head to ground? More a study in ants than in butterflies! It is aspiration and a wish list to be one. Lumiere is about play. It is about exploration, trying to capture the essence from every interaction and experience.

Butterflies are about transformation. A butterfly enthusiast observes and studies butterflies, studying habit by observing a ‘day-in-the-life’ over time and seasons. Observing patterns, identifying and profiling, individuals and families, studying similarities and differences.

The motif of the ‘winged jewel’ is about ‘surprising transformation’. It is to give us a fresh pair of eyes and a brand new way of looking and seeing.

Nelson Rodrigues our expert guide for the butterfly walk is the author of the book, ‘Butterflies of Mumbai’. Nel wrote the book after many hours of painstaking fieldwork and is a labour of love of five years of studying, photographing and writing. He will lead us on our ‘butterfly walk’ to the Mahim Nature Park (MNP) on Saturday, 15th September 2012 where we expect to see 20 butterfly species. ‘Only 20 at MNP’, says Nel ruefully. ‘Let’s go to Sanjay Gandhi National Park’. ‘20 is a lot’, I’m thinking. For a bunch of researchers steeped in qualitative research we respect and value the twenty. It’s going to be a lot of depth and a lot of fun, I promise. It will be appealing and relevant, and I am open to your suggestions, recommendations are areas of improvement. Do bring your family along to share and join in our discovery.

Posted by Deepa Soman

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