Saturday, September 17, 2011

The Mystery of the Butterfly effect in Real Life.

A million thanks to the magic on the silver screen for introducing me to the interesting phenomenon called the butterfly effect. Starting from ‘‘The Jurassic park’’, which gives one of the most basic and simple explanations on this effect to ‘‘The Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind’’, the list goes on. However, it was ‘‘Mr Nobody’’ which really screwed up my mind and made me interested in digging up the concept, which finally led me to watch the most critically acclaimed one among this genre, ‘‘The Butterfly effect’’. To make it sound simple, let me say, small changes create big results. Enough said. It’s like picking up lotto or even the flipping of a coin. It’s like the possibility of having a disappointing Saturday night since you went for a pointless movie, just because you watched a catchy trailer in YouTube while causally surfing Facebook or randomly checking out Twitter.

The Butterfly effect derives its name from the popular explanation of creating a hurricane weeks or years later, just because some butterfly on the other side of the planet flapped its wings and moved some molecules eventually resulting in a sequence of disturbances in air. The relevance of initial conditions at any point of time is the ultimate factor of this effect also otherwise termed the Chaos theory. Movies with themes and concepts which pose a reality check have always excited me. The most recent one being Inception, where Christopher Nolan screwed up our mind by taking us for an adventure ride travelling through the different levels of our sub conscious mind. Possibilities of altering our realities or cheating our time frames is undeniably one of the best thought provoking themes experimented in movies. Movies with themes such as The Time Traveller’s Wife, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, Back to the Future, Minority Report, 12 Monkeys, Kate & Leopold which challenges our time frames or rather check the reality of our current lives such as The Matrix are possibly some of the best works in this category. What confuses me with the time travel movies is the Time Corruption hypothesis or the more popular Grandfather paradox which makes the present reality impossible when someone goes back in time making different life paths, ultimately resulting in a butterfly effect.

My first instance of the butterfly effect from an Indian movie is from ‘‘ Dasavathaaram ’’, where the 2004 Tsunami in the Indian Ocean is portrayed as being caused by the sinking of Lord Vishnu’s idol along with Kamal Hassan in the 12th century. Though I wasn’t that interested in Chaos theory and Butterfly effect after watching this movie in 2008, I was pretty much impressed by the basic concept of this phenomenon and the brilliance of its story line. It’s quite interesting that, if we could go back in time and do things in life pretty differently and make alternative decisions & choices, doesn't that make a big difference to what we are or where we are today? If there ever comes a chance to travel back in time, the knowledge and wisdom of having lived our lives in this present life path makes us aware of the possible outcomes of choosing some of the options. But if we are to believe in God, then whatever options we choose in an alternative life path by picking a different school or a life partner or a bus or even a pair of footwear, we would eventually end up in the same fate. If it’s supposed to be so, then even our weirdest thoughts and our most awkward moments in life should be part of a master plan by the so called architect of life. At this point, I prefer to believe, there has never been any wrong decisions in our lives. Understanding the framework and complexity of the big picture as a whole, improves our perception to address the day to day issues and strategically organize our life.

It is the human form of butterfly effect which matters in the present world. The very actions we make at this moment, the very next move we make, matters a lot and could make a big difference in shaping not just our life, but even the lives of generations to be born. Messing up and screwing up our present daily lives could possibly ruin the entire culture of our country in future. Life opens up different doors for us to follow. It is up to us to choose the life path. In reality time doesn't go backwards, making it harder to make decisions. But that’s exactly how life works. Butterfly effect is all about the big picture. We are what we think or rather we become what we think we are. Instead of regretting about the options we made in our past, think about the moves and actions we could make in shaping our future and the future or even the existence of people some 20 or 50 years from now. Each and every move we make matters, not just for us but for our very universe. After all our universe desires randomness or entropy, so choose not to go with the flow and start making the right moves instead.


  1. Well said... Movies that leave their print on our psyche are few and what we make of them is even less... Very well written, loved reading it...

  2. Thanks da, i was very much interested in this topic. So happy, that i could present it as a blog post.

  3. Grt post. The theory well explained and well applied to our lives! :)

  4. Thanks, its a simple theory which makes us more conscious of our actions for better lives.