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The butterfly effect

Two incidents brought about phenomenal changes in the landscape of a country’s future and an individual’s destiny
Last Updated : 24 May 2023, 21:17 IST

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One momentous day in 1857, the Indian sepoys in East India Company discovered that cow and pig fat was used on paper cartridges. Incidentally, these cartridges had to be bitten to release the powder. Since ingesting cow and pork grease was a taboo for Hindus and Muslims respectively; the soldiers’ hurt sentiments assumed the form of a mutiny. The Sepoy Mutiny eventually led to a full-fledged freedom struggle, gradually catapulting India towards freedom.

Musically-gifted Farrokh Bulsara spent his early life in Zanzibar and India. In 1964, there was a fierce revolution against the sultan of Zanzibar and the Arab government in which thousands of Arabs and Indians were killed. The Bulsara family fled to England to escape the violence. Farrokh completed his education in London while trying to get a foothold in the British music industry. He tasted success in the 1970s with his band Queen. The world knows Farrokh as the legendary musician, Freddie Mercury.

Two incidents brought about phenomenal changes in the landscape of a country’s future and an individual’s destiny. This is analogous to a butterfly flapping its wings in the Amazonian jungle, and subsequently, a storm ravaging Europe. While this phenomenon doesn’t literally happen, it’s a great way to understand the Butterfly Effect, where a miniscule change in the starting condition of an event snowballs into something major and has a dramatic effect on the outcome of an event. Though initially used to understand weather changes, the Butterfly Effect was eventually used to decrypt other aspects of life as well. This made one realise that life is not perhaps as random as we perceive it to be, and that the little steps we take can shape the topography of our lives. So, go for that walk you generally avoid; health will be a natural consequence. Take that cruise as you never know who you will meet. Accept that interesting project even if isn’t commercially viable; maybe it will challenge your skill-set and help you build your creative muscle. Grab that new author’s book; it may take you on a wholly unexpected literary adventure or change the perspective that kept you stuck in a rut. And always be kind. A soothing word or gesture may seem like nothing to you, but might dramatically alter the life of someone sunk in depths of despondency.

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Published 24 May 2023, 18:18 IST

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