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It is in our destiny ...
Dec 24, 2005 12:24 PM 41365 Views
(Updated Dec 31, 2005 06:50 PM)



''Hope for the flowers'' is a book that I found at a friend's place. This book was part of a course on entrepreneurship that he underwent at business school. Hardbound with bright coloured cover and inside pages, the book looks like one created for kindergarten kids. Something that prompted me to give him a quizzical look. His reply was very simple - ''Just read it''. I was still sceptical, but considering the fact that the course itself was taken by a pretty successful entrepreneur I gave it the benefit of doubt - after all it was hardly 15 minutes worth of reading and - aren't we all just kids in adult make up ??

It is the story of two caterpillars - the not so good looking, strong, ambitious, go getting, very male Stripe and the more beautiful, intuitive, perceptive, lovely Yellow. How do I know that she is lovely? - its the illustrations silly.

Like all caterpillars do, Stripe bursts out of his tiny egg to come out into a bright and sunny world. He is hungry and wastes no time to begin eating the leaf that he was born on. And then another and another and another until he feels ''that there must be more to life than just eating and getting bigger''. Stripe then goes on a ''fascinating discovery of life'' that leads him to what he believes is the way to the TOP.It is not an easy path, one must ''push, shove and trample to go up'' and it is in this path upwards that he meet Yellow.

Yellow is already on the way up. She has convinced herself that it is the only way up, until she meets stripe. And destiny which brings them together also takes them apart. Yellow strikes out on her own, because she is sure there must be some other better way to reach the top. She does not know what that path is and goes on simple faith, building a dark cocoon around herself in the impossible hope that she could be a butterfly. As her guide says

''It's what you are meant to become. It flies with beautiful wings and joins the earth to heaven. It drinks only nectar from the flowers and carries the seeds of love from one flower to another. Without butterflies, the world would have fewer flowers.''

As I read the story the one thing that struck me was the manner in which the author almost perfectly recreated corporate life in the metaphor of a caterpillar's life. As it turned out I was wrong. This book was NOT written with corporate in mind. It was the outcome of someone ''sharing comfort with a friend who had just experienced death of someone close''. Yet it had lent itself so beautifully to the purpose it was assigned (as course material in a business school) and to the imagination of its reader (myself).

What is it that makes it so? What is it that makes stripe and yellow ''fly around the world carrying hope for the flowers and millions of people'' for more than 25 years now? Is it the universal message that it tries to get across? Is it the simple narrative that is so very accessible? Is it the wonderfully illustrated copy? Is it that rare sometime when everything falls in its right place? I don't know.

What I do know is that you owe it to yourself to take 15 minutes of your time and read it. after all - it is in your destiny that you spread your wings and fly, not crawl, trample, push, kick and climb.

P.S. - For those who do not get the book, ''Hope for the flowers'' is available on Also check out

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Hope for the Flowers - Trina Paulus