The Story Of The Butterfly Effect With A Stranger Skip to main content

The Story Of The Butterfly Effect With A Stranger

Have you ever felt that every small decision that you take and every small change that happens around you, that could have happened, either way, can change the outcome of certain events? Have you ever experienced the butterfly effect in real life? I never did until something so coincidental happened to me, it urged me to write a post about it.

Last summer I was travelling to Mumbai. I stayed in Zostel (Hostel) in the Andheri area. It had been a long time since I visited Mumbai and met my friends there. Seeing this, my schedule was totally booked. I was in a 6-bed room in the hostel.  I just checked-in, put my stuff in the locker and went out to meet my friends. I returned late in the night around 11 PM or 12 AM maybe.

I freshened up and laid on my bed. Like everybody else these days, I turned to my mobile and replied to some messages, scrolled social media a bit for a few minutes and then put the phone aside after my eyes started to hurt. I was tired of all the travel I did that day. I looked at the bed beside me in another row. A man was reading a book that I had read a while ago.

"You know that is a good read", I said starting the conversation.

"Oh! Yeah man, I always find Indian political history so fascinating. I mean I always wanted to know how things went in those times". He said while his eyes shone brightly in the light of the lamp and beard became denser than ever.

"Yes, I bought this book to know the other side of the story. I mean just imagine you are a human and have decided to kill a man who is not only the most important person in India but a well-known personality across the globe. You need really damn good reasons, a lot of hate, hurt, a kind of ulcer in your heart. I needed to know that story."

"Yes, I mean that is the beauty of this book, I would have never known these facts if I had not read this book. I feel really good after purchasing this book. The chaos that happened in those times, it's unimaginable.". He talked really smoothly and softly with some gaps in his words. I liked that tone,

"The moment Gandhi said that he will be on an indefinite fast until 55 Lakhs INR is not given to Pakistan was the moment Godse said to Apte, "Gandhi has to be killed". This sentence gives me goosebumps every time I tell someone."


"Okay, I'll sleep now.", I said when my eyes started closing.

"Okay, I will read this book for some more time."

"Cool, Oh! Wait, where are you from?"


"Hey!, Me too!"

"Haha, Goodnight!!"

I slept. I had to leave early around 11 AM. I woke up at around 9. Till that time Ashwin was already awoken. Oh! did I tell you? His name was Ashwin and he was reading "Why I assassinated Gandhi?". I freshened up. He was kind enough to offer me to have breakfast together.

"I know this great place here, who gives really awesome chai and bun-maska at a walking distance". He treated me that day. He liked it so much that he ordered 2 chai and 2 bun-maskas for himself. As we were getting out of the shop, a bus conductor shouted at the auto-rickshaw driver as he was not getting out of the way of the bus." "Move aside, you idiot!!."

"You know, I sometimes feel that since no one can shout or flush their frustration on the seniors, they target the people who are considered lower than them. I mean, this conductor could have fought with a passenger but he cannot shout at him, so maybe he is necessarily taking it out on the driver." I said to Ashwin.

"Yes, that is one angle I had never thought Harish. People are so frustrated at 9:30 in the morning."


We went back to the hostel and I started to pack my things. "Are you checking out?" Ashwin asked.
"Yes, I am leaving for Bangalore tonight." "Oh! I will be staying until the evening here. " He said.

"Man, I think we should stay in touch. Are you on Instagram?", he asked me while unlocking his phone and sitting on his bed.

"Yes, I am, Harish Rajora"

"What do you do?" I asked since we talked so much but I did not know this.

"I am a stand-up comedian. In the struggling phase though right now. So I am just jumbling between Bangalore and Mumbai or Pune to get the show slots. I work in Bangalore until this works out."

"That is really great. I would love to see your show sometime."

"Sure man. Will meet someday!!" Ashwin said to me and I checked out of the Zostel moving closer to my experience of the butterfly effect.

It was 11 AM. Fast-forward my day to 8 PM. My flight was scheduled to take-off at 10 PM. I reached the airport at around 8:30 but I wanted to eat something. So, I did not enter the airport and ate an egg-roll outside the Mumbai domestic airport. While I was eating, my phone beeped. "Your flight has been rescheduled to 11 PM. Sorry for the inconvenience." I can't tell you how frustrating these messages are. I have been rescheduled so many times and none of them was the time when I reached late. Whenever I reach on time, they reschedule the flight and whenever I am late, they have to take-off bang on time. In one case, even 15 minutes before time. I could have gone inside the airport but the weather was nice and the wind was cold. I decided to just sit outside the airport in the food court.

At 10, I thought to go inside the airport when my phone beeped again. "Your flight has been rescheduled to 12AM. Sorry for the inconvenience." Damn! what is the matter with them? I had a self-rental car booked at the airport in Bangalore. I checked if there was any car available at around 2 but there wasn't. So, I did not cancel the booking. I must have mentioned in my previous posts that the Bangalore airport and Bangalore City are literally two different places. They lie 50 Km away from each other. I was ready to pay the extra charges.

In normal times, I would have entered the airport 1 hour before the take-off. But I decided to go 1 hr 30 minutes before this time. I don't know why. I entered the airport and the board said, IndiGo -> right, SpiceJet -> left.  I had an IndiGo flight and so I turned right and walked like 40 meters and saw a man running towards me. He was looking here and there and running like his flight was about to take-off. "Oh! man, that Ashwin!!" I said to myself. I walked to him while he did not notice me coming as he was in a hurry. "Hey, Ashwin!!", He turned and his expressions changed to "What the hell??"

"Harish! Man, I never thought we would meet so soon."
"Man, me neither. My flight got delayed by 2 hours to 12 AM." I said to him while smiling to the full extent.

"I mean, this is wonderful. My flight is at 12 AM too. But you know what, I can't believe this. I am boarding a SpiceJet but entered IndiGo side by mistake." He said very fast in a single sentence without break. I mean that was not his usual calm tone.

"I am boarding an IndiGo flight actually," I said while looking at the IndiGo board.

"Man! I mean this is really wonderful. He was thinking about the butterfly effect in mind. I could sense. Listen I need to leave now!! Damn! I will meet you in Bangalore. What's your number? I will call you"

"Sure, Sure!! My number is ...."

I smiled at his expression. This was something unusual if I had really thought about it. But, till this point, it was just a coincidence for me.

I boarded my flight and before take-off he texted me. "Never thought our path crosses again, It's insane :D"
"It's a crazy story to recite", I replied.

I took off then.

I reached Bangalore before him and thankfully my booking was not cancelled although I had to pay late fees for the self-drive car. We met at Bangalore airport and I offered him a ride.

On the empty roads of Bangalore with no sound of anything other than our car, he said to me, "Do you know about the butterfly effect?"

"Ahhh! No! But I know there is a movie with that name."

"You know when your small decisions and small changes in the situations lead to an extraordinary outcome, it's the butterfly effect. I mean just think about it Harish. What if your flight had not got deal..."

"Wait, wait, let me refill petrol first."

"So, you pay for petrol?"

"Yes, right now. They will refund it afterwards."

"Oh! Alright!!"

"Yes, tell me what were you saying."

"I mean think about it. What if your flight had not got delayed? What if you did not have a habit of going inside just 1 hour before and what if you entered 1 hour before rather than 1:30? What if I had seen the spice jet board and never would have headed the wrong way? What if we had moved just 1 minute apart, we would have lost each other."

"Damn! I never thought about that. Damn! The Butterfly Effect!! Really that is really amazing. You have made me wonder."

"Can I play my song?" He asked.

"Definitely, but just play music and not noise. I am not in the mood. It's so beautiful here. It's 2 in the morning. Something calm."

"Yeah, I like that stuff too. Don't worry." He said and played a Pink Floyd song.

"Man, you know the roads here very well." He said since I was driving without the maps.

"Yeah, I have been to this road many times."

"Man! I still can't believe that. Shit!!. I am not gonna sleep today after this butterfly effect thing. Haha. My roommate is also not picking up the phone."

"Haha..., you can come to my flat," I said jokingly.

Okay, you can drop me here."

"Here? In the middle of the highway? Where is your flat?"

"Oh, it's 3 km from here. I will call my friend to pick me up."

"No no don't disturb anyone. I will drop you don't worry."

He told me the way while I drove a Hyundai Eon to his command. "Do you want tea?", He asked.

"Well, sure. Why not?"

It was 3 in the morning. He made me stop at a shop which was open to my surprise at this time. The tea was not good. Tasted like water but I did not tell him this. "Yeah, this tea is great!", I said. "Yes but not that great like every day," he said. Maybe he knew but we did not bother. He took 2 cookies out of the jar, paid and we went on our way.

On our way, we saw a man asking for a lift. Ashwin insisted me to stop as he saw someone could need help. I stopped the car in the middle of a narrow street which had no streetlight. I asked him not to open the door and move out. Talk from the window.
"Yes, you are right." He said.

I did not listen to them. They talked really slowly. Ashwin said, "Let's go".

"What happened?" I asked in surprise.

"Well, his friend drank too much. Wants to go home." He said to me.

"What the hell," I said and laughed.

"Just drop me here. This is my flat." He said and continued, "Listen, man! Thank you very much for your help. I had a wonderful time with you. We will be in touch."

"Me too buddy".

"Man, I can't stop thinking about the turn of events that took place today. The butterfly effect that I experienced. I mean I cannot express this how I am feeling and how life can be so surprising at some times."

"Hahaha, I know!!!! Good Night bro." I said.

"Good night!!".

I drove to my flat. I thought about what Ashwin said to me. Coincidence is one thing but what happened today, that butterfly effect thing was a nexus of events that deliberately made us meet again. We always talked in English because you know, it's India. I wrote a post about this problem too called The Divided States Of India. Our mother tongues were different. But that did not make any difference. We have not talked since that day but I see his posts on Instagram. He is succeeding as a comedian and I am happy about it. I wish he does. He was a great guy. Even though he might have forgotten that day or me, I will never forget him. Maybe we won't meet ever again, or may we do. It does not matter. But the story our first meeting was worth sharing with all of you.

Thank You


  1. I love your story and the butterfly effect analogy and so fitting with your story.


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