The Moonstruck Columns

Butterfly In The Subway

I saw a movie once. In that movie, the lady there saw a butterfly in the subway. It got on at 42nd, and off at 59th. Ever since, I too wanted to see one myself, just for the feel of it.

To tell me about myself, I am strongly possessed by fatal amounts of introversion and which often keeps me at bay from all the colorful stuff the world has to offer. Last evening, I was quietly waiting at the subway terminal at Dum Dum, all by myself; when suddenly I sensed someone, a girl, go by brushing my sleeve. I hurriedly turned my head in pursuit and the first thing I noticed was the only thing I always dread whenever I see a beautiful girl – she wasn’t alone – and to make matters worse, the ‘someone’ she was with, wasn’t a girl.

She wore a black sweat jacket and underneath that was a white striped knitted jumper. She had long dark flowing hair; unfortunately, I didn’t get a chance to watch it flow; she had tied it to a ponytail that she had let fall on her right shoulder. Her cute fair face had a couple of pimples on each of her cheeks but it seemed that they were too shy to show themselves properly. Other than that, any hint irregularity in the perfectly carved face was merely fictional.

I couldn’t help staring at her. But to prevent myself from staring (Mom always told me it was rude to stare) I only stole quick glances at her. The train arrived and she chattered away with different expressions lighting her face. She settled down on a seat across the gates and I settled myself near the gates so that we were face to face. As the train wheeled off and with every station passed, my frequency of stealing glances kept increasing at an alarming rate because I had realized that Mom was delusional. Even if it was rude to stare, this was all the eyeful I was going to get of her and it could be all over any moment.

After two stations had passed, my quick glances had become a permanent stare and it seemed that she too had noticed that. She kept glancing at me once in a while, still talking to her companion but with freshly added enthusiasm. She kept stroking her hair, more than usual and at one point, she took quite a long stare while playing with her hair, or perhaps it was my illusion.

She got off after five stations on the Central Avenue taking away my impracticable and only chance to even know her name. Perhaps that’s the way it is supposed to be – after all butterflies don’t speak. But finally I did get to see a butterfly in the subway.

After she got off, I tapped the left side of my chest to check if I was missing anything, and for a moment I thought it wasn’t there; or perhaps I was too dreamy to remember what exactly I was looking for. I finally found it though, but she did steal it for a while…

P.S. – In case you were wondering the movie I mentioned in the first line, its ‘You’ve Got Mail’…

Know The Writer!