Author: Moni Mohsin
Publisher: Penguin Books India
The title says – ‘the return of the butterfly but I can’t spot a butterfly! Rather, my eye got focused on a brightly colored high-heel sandal on the lavish book cover. Well, I did feel lavish on seeing the choice of style, cut and color of the prop used to catch the eye-balls. Smart chap – the illustrator would be. Just then, I spotted the blurb stating it to be from the bestselling author of ‘The Diary of a social butterfly’.
Right after this moment, the thoughts started fluttering in my mind and story started to take a shape. I visualized, there would be some Cinderella type socialite who would have been lost somewhere due to some page-3 type scandal and with story she is destined to make a comeback with a statement style (maybe she is fond of high-end foot wears or this sandal bumps her into some handsome man – her torchbearer). And I admit, the author proved me WRONG and I am glad she did! What a splendid way to be proved wrong. This is a fun-filled light-hearted satire from a Pakistani author – Moni Mohsin. This is my first chance to review her work and I am glad to read it.
Her story is based on a socialite residing in Pakistani and her (political) bent of mind. Why a socialite is required to share her political side? Well! After all she is a female, she who is easily influenced by the joys and sorrows of other females. Interestingly, all this melodrama is to get her male in line with her. The story is set in the year 2008 when the parties, socializing and hosting / attending get together were limited to elites only. They used to be on livewire and the language chosen to brag-off was a mix of two or more languages. This story uses a mix of English and Hindi with a hint of Punjabi as well. Readers need to have at-least a minimal understanding of Hindi language in order to understand what is being read. Written in English but is hindi, primarily. The second partner in the duo is the then prevailing political scenario in Pakistan.
The author deals with the political issues in a lighter tone. You will get to know the reason behind this choice, only when you read it by yourself. An interesting take – I MUST say. Based on the times when Pakistan was going through unrest, she details how a socialite would deal with it having a spouse who is directly related with the dynamic changes on political front. The way she perceives, introspects and lives through it, is enjoyable. How her likes and dislikes revolve around with the surrounding environ is fun-filled. But, the catch is – why did she delve into these issues? If she is a socialite; wouldn’t she be relishing some other juicy gossips and news? Well, deep inside her heart – she is a lady. A lady who loves her man and this her way to be on her side and be his support structure (though, she understood it otherwise).
What I liked about the book – the take. Yes, this would have been just normal or some boring stuff discussing a no-so-familiar culture and its social unrest or just might have some aww-hww stuffed girly talks pouring in all female get together but no, it is far more than this. As I found during my online research about the author, she is a well-acclaimed author and it was only after reading the book, I could find out why. This is because, her characters are lively and the sentence structure written by her is simple and conversational in style which makes readers personify them and thus a vibrant connection is set, almost instantly.
One more thing that I felt was that the perception of the authors is just the same, across the borders. Me – belonging to India have only limited knowledge of Pakistan culture but with increasing numbers of books from Pakistani authors, my understanding is building and am enjoying it. I am informed that I may not be the first person to experience and document it but that electrifying feel is just ravishing.
I would love to read more from the author.
This comes as a recommended read for ladies who love to socialize and have a bent to reading books as well. So, next time, you plan to host or attend a kitty just share your views and you will enjoy your own fan following. Welcome, to the world of butterflies!
About the Book:
I tell you the haalats are so bad, so bad that don’t even ask. Bombs bursting left, right nd centre, drones droning away, load shedding a hundred hours a day, servants answering back, in-laws trying to upstage you, and on top of that elections ka tamasha. Janoo tau is coming closer and closer to a nervous brake out while Mummy is getting sterile dementia.
But I’ve decided, come what may, I tau am not going to let anyone clamp my style. I’m going to live just as I like – watching my Turkish soaps, going to GT’s and wedding, telling everyone everything saaf-saaf and, of course, doing summers in London – voh tau must hai na?