I was a 12-year-old girl when my daddy took me to his wonderland and introduced me to this tiny little insect: Ladybird. It was part of his Ph.D. thesis whereas a new friend for me to play with. Daddy, my sister, and I used to walk miles searching for ladybirds and collecting them in a small lady-bug box. I caught the ladybird and held it immaturely, unbeknownst of the harm I was doing to that creature.
Daddy used to smile at my innocence and would teach me how to handle the little creature with tenderness. He also gave us clues that could help us to reach ladybirds. Turning every leaf around carefully and looking for ladybird’s eggs became our daily routine for months. After waking up in the morning, first thing we did was to check ladybirds that we collected and to feed them.
We would collect hundreds of ladybirds in a day and later in the evening daddy would narrate to us different tales of these insects and their importance in the environment. He also used to describe parts of the insect but we were naive and perhaps too young to understand. Therefore his words just passed through our minds, seldom imparting any hints of what we heard. In just few months I became fond of this creature and then nature.
I would spend hours searching for the insect and while in these errands I developed a deep connection with nature. Unaware of the fact that environment is going to be a major part of my life in future, I kept on spending lots of time pondering about the impeccability and wonders of it. Back then it was just ‘ladybird’ for me and I looked at it as only a colorful and pretty insect but now I see it as ‘Aphidophagous ladybird beetle’ which I know is a very crucial part of nature.
When I was a child I used to save it from getting harmed because it was my friend and I was obliged to save it while now it has become my responsibility as well as a habit. Daddy always taught me to keep connection with nature and to be a part of it rather than becoming a master to it. And I’ve now realized how among all the learnings, this one is the most important and pivotal. Everyone told me to always follow the footsteps of my father and I am happy that I did.