“I glanced once more at the deserted balcony, the withered, drooping plants. A butterfly flitted about the railing, looking in vain for a flower on which to alight. It settled briefly on my hand before opening its wings and fluttering away into the blue.”

- Ruskin Bond in his short story “A Love of Long Ago”

While I was studying in school, my teacher told me a story. There lived a King who was victorious in his warfare. He was very happy about it and was celebrating all the time. Then came a sage from the highest mountains of Himalayas. “I have a gift for you” the sage said to the King. He gave him a ring and left. The King’s smile faded away as soon as he saw the ring. It had the letters “Everything passes away”. And, said my teacher, the King realized that all these wealth he has acquired won’t be there forever and became a generous King who helped everyone.

I did like the story except the part where his smile fades away. Wouldn’t it have been better if it was like “the  smile broadened”. Passing away is not a hard truth.. It is just a truth made hard by our thoughts.. During the happy moments, the fear of losing those moments will darken its beauty. Yes, the truth is that this moment won’t be there forever but it doesn’t mean that it is not here now.. The butterfly did flit about the railing. It did flutter away into the blue. But it did settle briefly on my hand.. Briefly but yet, yes, it settled on my hand, within my heart, for a happy moment and I am happy about it..

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