"My journey to establish myself as an artist has been tough, as tough as the journey of a caterpillar turning into a butterfly." Milan Rai


I guess you have noticed the white paper butterflies stuck on trees around Kathmandu. It may just seem like a trend or a decoration but those butterflies carry a story with them - the story of Milan Rai, an artist who visualized a “Butterfly City”; expanded it to a “Butterfly World” and turned his dream into a reality. Rai, born on 22nd December 1985 in Bhojpur is the nicest person you will ever meet and also the most inspiring. Here, he gets candid with Teenz about his teenage days.

Describe your teenage days in one sentence.
Full of curiosity.


One word to describe the type of teen that you were.
I was an outstanding teen and an outstanding student - because one would always find me standing outside the class!


When did you have your first crush?
I had a huge crush on my teacher in class 8 and 9. However, I had my first girlfriend when I was in class 2 when I was about 6 years old. I used to walk to school with her and I just made up about her being my girlfriend.


What was the craziest thing that you did as a teenager?
When I got restricted from Secondary Boarding High School and joined Bijaypur High School, I wore the uniform of my old school for the new one. I was completely unaware about it until I reached the school. But even then, I had the guts to stand in the assembly!


Do you regret anything that you did when you were a teen?
Regrets? There are none! Looking back, I think the things that I did were right at that time. Neither will I say that I shouldn’t have done it nor will I say that it was completely wrong. Like anyone else, learn from your mistakes. I do too so but I make sure to not repeat the same mistake twice.


If you could go back to one moment in your teenage life, when would that be?
I think I would go back to the time when I would be sketching in my classroom. I basically spent my entire school life sketching.


Who is your muse?
The love of my life! She is my main motivation to work and to get better in art

How did you cultivate your passion for art?
I never got to go to college as I had dropped out from high school. Because of that people really looked down on me. My friends continued their studies; some got their degrees and some went abroad and got a job. I was never in that race with them. So, at that point, when everyone took me as a hopeless person, the despair derived a force in me and filled me with determination to do something which I loved and that was art.


Your advice to teenagers
Don’t take any advices. Listen to your heart-not to the world. The worst thing that can happen to you is that you are going to end up on your death bed and when you look back on your life, you’re going to want to change something about it. Just don’t let that happen; do not save yourself any regrets. Chase your dreams and turn them to reality. And always keep in mind that when someone tells you that you can’t do something, they are not stopping you-they are stopping themselves.