Sunday, August 5, 2012

[Short story] The Butterfly Brooch

This post has been published by me as a part of the Blog-a-Ton 30; the thirtieth edition of the online marathon of Bloggers; where we decide and we write. To be part of the next edition, visit and start following Blog-a-Ton.

It was another beautiful evening; the lovely sunset gave golden gleam to the water. Tanay strolled along the shores of Kovalam beach; waves kissing his feet. He was not ready to admire it; his mind was full of questions. He recollected the time when he almost was a murderer. Chennai beaches could never scale up to Digha beach back in Kolkotta, his hometown. But Chennai beaches were where they shared belly ripping laughter and mind ripping taunts. Where they walked miles, chattering aimlessly…

A ball fell on him, jolting him… “Anna, ball please..” a boy of 11 shouted. Brother, give me the ball. 

He looked across his shoulder, staring at the child for waking him from his thoughts. They were playing cricket.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * 

Debbie migrated from Kolkotta to Chennai purely for work purposes. She couldn’t resist the pay cheque that she decided to part from the city which grew her, Kolkotta. It was quite a battle with the Chennai, automen who cheated, roadside Romeos who whistled at her every night before she could head to her PG, a portion of the salary being spent on atrocious room rents, annoying breakfasts called idlis and gazillion rupees gone in the name of phone bill. Arggh. The only thing that she looked forward to were Rosogollas at Sri Krishna sweets after those beach walks.

Oh how she loved Rosogollas! Well Rosogollas and Tanay. . . 

Tanay Roy, was her teammate – sharing the same date of joining and mother tongue, they shared a lot of their time together.  She loved those evening walks with him. Though he was busy yapping about some lady crush of his, whom he would claim to love to bits. She would laugh at the antics that he comes up in order to impress those yucky made up colleagues in their Team, sometimes scoff. But she loved him nevertheless.

Why is he blind to me? She thought. High check-bones, sharp eyes, bouncy hair, and a bonus dimple – she felt she looked okay – likable. “Why is he ever SO blind to me?” she thought aloud, applying one more round of bleach. No amounts of bleaches and face packs caught his attention. He was yet again yapping shamelessly about his hopeless romanticism.

"Mashider pichhone khali jao keno?", she questioned. Do you only go behind aunties?

Tanay laughed boisterously, irritating her all the more.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * 

That morning, Tanay had come to her PG to pick her up. 20 mins later, reaching the Pub - "Bike and Barrel", they met their friends at Phillip and Kamalika Dutta… slapping backs and hugging out. 

“Hmm.. so ssup man??”, Tanay asked Phillip questioningly.

“erm… well.. we’ve decided to..umm… tie the knot…” replied Phillip coyly.

Debbie hugged Kamalika, when Tanay furiously punched Phillip for hiding ALL that information. “Saaley, you never told us…??? I thought this was another harmless meet!! You are SUCH a con!” he screamed, “traitor! so when is the big day huh??”

“Next Month Tanay… 1st Sunday of September”, pitched in Kamalika, “my parents will never accept this… getting married into a Christian family. As you might have speculated, this will be a register marriage. Since we are not in a position to make a grand affair, we just decided to throw our close friends alone a post-wedding party in Beach house in ECR…on Sunday eve… you both should come”.

“Of course we will… “replied Debbie. She looked longingly at Tanay and wished for a day as such. They’ll not even have to rush into sneaky marriages – both she and Tanay were Bengalis and of the same caste. They will have a 'love-arranged marriage' as it was called. Wait a minute! He didn’t even know she existed… :-/ and here she was dreaming of marriages? Duh. 

They ordered their drinks, the girls settled for orange juices when the guys wanted HOT stuff. They soon lost the count of drinks they had.Tanay always could not stop with a few drinks, and it hurt Debbie to see him so helpless.

“Keep it low Tanay”, Debbie intervened, it was not the first time she stopped him, “You have had enough, its time for us to leave I guess..”. 

“Yes mom”, he replied chiding her.

They reached her PG around 1AM down into the night,“See in spite of the drinks I have kept you safe… Aiii will kippp you safeuu.. Aiii promishh..” he said in a faltering tone.

She shrugged, “Please reach home and message me… Okay?”

Few minutes later, her phone beeped and read: “Reached. Had a nyc time. . . n ukw? Will tell u 2mrw... :P”

Sober idiot, she thought.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * 

Wedding Party at ECR Beach house.

Both the bride and the groom were looking ravishing. Phillp looked smart and prim. Dressed in her beautiful beige gown, Kamalika could almost pass for a Anglo bride. But the most beautiful woman on the floor was Debolina Gangopdhay, his Debbie who was dressed in a satin evening dress; the lavender gown ran until her knees, showing her flawless long legs. She wore a butterfly brooch on her hairdo, which glittered making her even more lovely.

Tanay sighed. He had fooled her enough, making her believe he was not interested in her at all. Its time he broke it, he thought.

That night close to thirty youngsters danced into the night...

“Have a little na??” they forced Debbie to drink... “Arrey, have little yaar...”

After a series of NOs, she gave up being a non-alcholic. She in fact enjoyed Vodka and the immediate high it gave her! She was happieee, after all who would not be? She was dancing breast to breast with the only man whom she loved on the whole earth! They continued to dance and gulp down fervently.

Slowly the DJ started moving away from the frenzy songs to mushy songs, making the couple rush out of the dance floor, needing that ounce of privacy. Soon the dance floor was almost empty, Debbie and Tanay found themselves on the beach. The dark night-sea drawing white foamy patterns around their feet…

“This is the best night I have ever had…” Tanay said taking her palms. There was silence but for the waves. Tanay drew her close to him and kissed her softly.. real soft... he broke the kiss, looked into her eyes and asked "Will you…?” and cleared his throat, leaving the question incomplete.

She chirped, breaking off from his grip, she ran into the waters, laughing and venturing deeper and deeper. He ran behind her, she was trying to wade more into the sea. He did not know how to stop her, he was unbelievably drunk. He had no clarity of mind.

He stood dumbstruck as his girl was being mauled by the waves… her giggles getting fainter and fainter… Time stood still… so did he…

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * 

Someone tried to shake him up from the shore, "Err..", he opened his eyes; his head felt heavy; blurred with a few screams. “Where is Debbie..?” he could see them mouth; he heard no sound.

He faintly saw his friend picking up a butterfly brooch along the beach; it looked broken and frayed.  “OH MY GOD”, he heard him scream. Some sirens later, he saw his friend signing against the name Debolina Ghangopdhay I.C.U. ward form.

Tanay rammed his head on the hospital wall. He screamed. His life was on her death bed, she was fighting against a series of intravenous-tubes in her body. “Will you marry me...?” might become a question unasked forever. With streaming tears of despair, he screamed softly “Will you marry me Debbie… Debbie… Debbbbiee pleaaaase can you hear me…?”.

She could hear him, she wanted to reply - "Shut up, you idiot. I will be fine", but there were tubes in her mouth.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * 

Three weeks after that unforgettable day, he started volunteering in the Drug Rehab NGO – Helping drug addicts, propagating cons of liquor and advocating also against drunk and drive. He called his project – “Butterfly brooch”, all the members who were signed in his group were given a Butterfly-brooch. They were supposed to introduce and help their friends and acquaintances who were suffering. His organization till date had helped close to 417 families.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * 

Turning towards the little boy, he tossed the sandy ball back to him and smiled.

“Thanks anna”. Thank you brother, said the 11 year old child, “I have seen you before. Appa used to come to your seminars, he is a lot healthy now…", continued the boy, "and the brooch is very cute!” he called after Tanay.

Tanay smiled. But he couldn't stop for a chat with the boy, he was running late. He had to take Debbie for her 3rd trimester ultrasound.  Therefore replying the little boy with a larger smile, he strode away.

As he walked, he fished into his pocket and took out a broken and frayed brooch…

He realized that the frayed butterfly had spread its color seamlessly..

Credits :
Bengali Translation : Anindya Roy :)
Pictures : Google image search

The fellow Blog-a-Tonics who took part in this Blog-a-Ton and links to their respective posts can be checked here. To be part of the next edition, visit and start following Blog-a-Ton. I’m thankful to BLOGGER NAME, who introduced Blog-a-Ton to me, and I debuted in 27 edition.


Image - Shades of Orange by Harsha Chittar
Courtesy - Curious Dino Photography via


  1. Lovely Kappu! Thank you for an upbeat ending :)

  2. awwwww that was beautiful :)

    ATB for BAT

  3. Really beautiful story....amazing ending!
    ATB for BAT :)

  4. Awesome cute lovely story Kappu, as I read along i thought it would be sad ending :) but great its an awesome happy ending.
    Very nice story told Kappu, with a important message in it :D

    Keep writing :D loved it completely :D

  5. amazing...a story so nicely told :)
    best wishes for BAT

  6. Beautiful entry, Kappu. Indeed,the 'butterfly had spread its color seamlessly'... giving hope, comfort, happiness to many homes.Loved the way you concluded the story!
    Enjoyed reading this... Kolkata references made it more interesting for me:)) Lubbed it!:))))))))))))))))
    ATB for BAT!

  7. Thanks for stopping by :)
    This is an adorable one!!

  8. Lovely, very positive! Best wishes for BAT!

  9. Suresh - read yours and it was SO lovely, the little boy full of life! Thanks for that!

    @Menachery - Thanks lass, I was waiting for your post!

    @Scorpio - Thank you SO much!

    @Ramya - Thanks a lot, I am SO glad you liked it!

    @Panchali Da - thank you SO much, I am in love with the Bengali portion of India! Thats why :D

    @Karan, AP, Deepa - Thank you SO SO much, I am so glad to have you guys on my blog!

    @All - It was great writing for BAT as always, I love the times when I question myself, Tanay Roy started out as Tanay Dutta, then I wondered whether Dutta and Ganghopdhay are same castes! Googling up I found Bandhopdhay, Rpy and Ganghophdyar are Bengali brahmins or so wiki told me! There, Tanay Roy was born :)

  10. Well written but the end came too fast.. And I was surprised coz I was expecting a tragedy

  11. @Muthu - I guess so :)

    @IP - Yeah.. the "twist", a longer ending would have been a "turn"?? :D haha! (PJ.. I know!) Thanks for stopping by!

    1. Please dont try your hand(or shall i say fingers) at PJs :P Stick to your forte :) And welcome but I checked my blog comments after commenting here. So I did not heed your request :P

      Btw check this and this

    2. Insanity personified it is :P :D bye!

  12. wow...what an engaging story I must say

  13. I loved your story but I don't know what PG means or NYC or some of the other acronyms are. Great ending.

  14. @dreamer - Thank you Tanaya!

    @Kristen - Thanks for stopping by! And yes, I just assummed people might no, so mean of me.. :) PG is Paying Guest, in Chennai most of the women migrated for work reasons stay in a PG rather than staying in a hostel.

    NYC is nyc.. thats a weird SMS lingo - saying nice :)

  15. I was so relieved when I read the words...3rd trimester ultrasound...Well written Kappu...Good Luck for the contest :)

  16. @Manasa - Thank you!

    @Jaish - Oh and how I loved yours, lady! ;) ATB too!!

  17. Beautiful, beautiful story :) I'm glad it had a happy ending, because the love there was very well brought out, and it deserved one.

    All the very best for BAT.

    Leo - My Blog-a-Ton Story

  18. Lovely story with a positive message beautifully woven .. Liked it.

  19. @Leo - I have always adored your writing, so to get a kudos from you feels SO nice! Thank you!!

    @Aativas - Thanks pal, and about the message, yes we need to drive it sometimes na? :)

  20. Hi Kappu, that was a beautiful story. Immensely enjoyed reading it. It has all the right emotions with a flair touch of humor to it. All the very best for BAT :)

  21. wow! this was such a beauty to read! No, I dont want to be a part of the group, but I still want a butterfly brooch!! it sounds alluring :)

    good luck kappu! :)

  22. @Neha - thank you SO much, its a real feel good factor, someone liking your write!

    @Apala - Your story was SO nice! And you have been consistently writing SO well! I am such a fan already! Thanks for the comment, Apala! :)

  23. That is a really sweet story. I like the fact that there is the scene where he is at the beach lost in his thoughts and how it moves into him thinking about his love story and the fact that you weaved drug de-addiction into it and left your reader smiling at the end.

    Cheers! All the best for this BAT :D

  24. Hey Richi! Thanks SO much... you didn't write this time, it appears??

  25. Very beautiful story. great ending. and carrying great meaning.

  26. Kappu,

    Is it a true story or just a figment of your imagination.. I love the post and the ending was awesome; felt relieved when I read the line "He had to take Debbie for her 3rd trimester ultrasound".. Hmm... The butterfly looks cute..

    Keep writing.. All the best to win BAT..

    Someone is Special

  27. @ReneGadE - thanks!

    @Kshitij - Am glad you liked it, keep coming by! :)

    @SS - I am SO glad you left a long comment! They mean your time, and mean a lot to me! :) This is no true story btw, not even my friends story in that case lol! Keep coming by! THANKS!

    1. :) Congrats on the well deserved win.. Keep writing..

      Someone is Special

    2. Thanks a LOT marshal! ;)

  28. Aaha ... I thought that was going to end just like another love story with Tanay proposing on his knees to Debbie ...but it did not plus it had a great message in it without the "preachy" kind of tone,,truly glad I stumbled upon your blog ...Cheers !! Sri :)

  29. Thanks SO much Sri, I am so glad you liked this, you can read 2 other short stories of mine that I have written and post your valuable feedback too! :)

    Here's to more bumps!! :D

  30. hey,
    great narrative.
    loved it...Im a sucker for love stories..

  31. Haha thank youuuuuuuuuu! :) and many thanks for your first visit!