Do you know a secret about dragonflies?
When I was a little girl, I would sometimes run away from my math classes and go to the river banks near my school for some very serious reasons.
Reason one, I hated numbers and mathematics and I always thought I was too good to become a scientist or an astronaut.
Reason two, I always liked sitting near river banks, in silence, watching the tiny tadpoles which I strictly believed were fishes until I started studying biology.
Third and the most important reason was that I knew a little secret about the dragonflies that flew near the river banks.
I don’t remember who let out the secret to me, but I had learned from sources unknown that the dragonflies were mystical creatures that had direct contact with God.
I had already made my plans to send a letter to God.
I had a list of complaints and wishes.
Complaint one: there was a boy in my class who bullied me and robbed things from my geometry box. I wanted God to punish him by making him fail his exams.
Complaint two: maths again– I hated my maths teacher, let him suffer from diarrhoea for a week because I wasn’t prepared for a Saturday maths test, and I needed time.
Complaint three: why did God create only one Sunday? I wanted god to create more Sundays so that I could watch ‘Shaktiman’ on TV more often, and also have ample time to play hide-and-seek with my friends.
Since I thought I was a very smart girl, I skilfully tied a long sheet of paper where I beautifully jotted down my complaints, and tied it on a dragonfly’s tail with the Bajaj thread from my mother sewing machine.
Since the Bajaj threads were very strong and long-lasting, I thought, my letter would remain tagged to the dragonfly’s tail until the dragonfly decides to cut off its tail out of sheer madness.
I raised the dragonfly as high as possible and jolted it up, towards the sky, where I imagined I could see God desperately waiting for my complaint list.
But the dragonfly dropped down… on the ground.
“Fly you lazy butt!” I shouted, and it flew… flew few yards and it fell down again.
I rushed near and saw it die slowly, staring at me sorrowfully– and perhaps, saying it had failed me.
I was sorry and I wanted to cry.
Then I decided never to write a complaint letter in my life. Never again!
Few days later, when the gloom in my head was over, I decided to give it a second try.
I decided to catch a healthier dragonfly, and write my wish list and send it to heaven.
After catching a red healthy-looking dragonfly which somehow resembled ‘He-man’ from the comics, I felt it had all the power of the universe to take my wish-list to the heaven.
I fed it with some milk powder which I always stole from mother’s kitchen shelf.
Then I tied my wish-list on the little He-man’s tail with Bajaj thread for obvious reasons.
I lifted it high and said, “Fly, my little messenger to heaven.”
And it flew right away. Vigorously!
Few days later, almost all my wishes came true.
I rather not talk about the entire wish list here as some were too personal and silly.
However, one of the most special wish took few years to come true.
That very wish was to grow up into a woman.
As a little girl, I thought I would never grow up. I wanted to grow up and experience the grace, the intellect and the boldness of adulthood… simply enjoy the beauty of being a grown-up.
Conversely, now, as an adult, I wish if I could still catch dragonflies, make a wish list and send it to heaven to relive that blissful childhood yet again.
Sonam Dema is Bhutanese, currently working as television news editor with Bhutan Broadcasting Service in Thimphu, Bhutan. She also works as a part-time editor for a youth magazine in Bhutan ‘Students’ Digest’. She started her career as a print journalist. She loves photography, traveling remote places and writing poetry. Her dream is to buy her dream farm house and keep writing. Visit her blog.