Thursday, August 14, 2014

The Return of the Butterfly by Moni Mohsin

One writer that I admire and envy(in a good way) is Moni Mohsin. Every time I read her Butterfly series I wish we had a writer like her in India. Her wit, sarcasm and humour in her books is near perfect. I know this sounds very fan girlish but I have no hesitation in admitting that!

So Butterfly is back the third time and this time she chronicles her tales post Benazir politics of Pakistan. Butterfly through her tabahi diary entries takes a swipe not just at the hi-fi society ladies of Isloo (uf oh Islamabad) . While Butterfly claims to have zero love for politics but comes across as an astute commentator of the goings on in Pakistan.

This time in the book though she is at her fiery best, the reader also can feel her concern for her country and how it impacts her 'crack' husband and equally 'crack' son. Her love hate relationship with her sisters in law and her mother in law is something many women will instantly connect with. What makes Butterfly absolutely lovable is her confidence in herself despite the rest of her family thinking otherwise.

While the author does attempt to show the ugly mess that Pakistan is in right now through the diary jotting of Butterfly but that is something we would want the reader to read and find out.

The author's razor sharp wit makes this book a must must must read. Highly recommended     reading. Long Live Butterfly and more importantly a request to the author to keep writing the life and times of Butterfly!

Scoop by Kuldip Nayar

There are some people who need no introduction, their work speaks for them, Kuldip Nayar, is one such person. Out of many of his books I recently read Scoop the tagline of the book mentions it as providing 'Inside stories from the partition to the Present' Present being till 1999. The book is a good read that gives insider info to events that unfolded post partition. As a young journalist who started his career with an Urdu Daily to serving as a press information officer to Gobind Ballabh Pant and Lal Bahadur Shastri to Emergency the book covers some anecdotes from all his journalistic years.

He while sharing some stories from his stint as a press information officer to Lal Bahadur Shastri also ensures that he sticks to fact telling rather than trying to spice up events as they unfolded or show off in anyway his proximity to the leader. What many in today's writers seem to have forgotten when chronicling their lives and times in important roles in the government.

The book extensively covers the post indepence era from the eyes of a journalist, From Nehruvian period to Shastri era (however short lived) to his scathing attack on the emergency era, also covering the then political upheavals in Bangladesh and Pakistan. 

The book is an interesting and candid collection of some important news events in India's post Independence history. Do read for a quick reckoner to India's contemporary history.