Monday, April 7, 2014

Butterfly Season by Natasha Ahmed




Blurb

On her first holiday in six years, Rumi is expecting to relax and unwind. But when she is set up by her long-time friend, she doesn’t shy away from the possibilities. Ahad, a charming, independent, self-made man, captures her imagination, drawing her away from her disapproving sister, Juveria.

Faced with sizzling chemistry and a meeting of the minds, Ahad and Rumi find themselves deep in a relationship that moves forward with growing intensity. But as her desire for the self-assured Ahad grows, Rumi struggles with a decision that will impact the rest of her life.

Confronted by her scandalized sister, a forbidding uncle and a society that frowns on pre-marital intimacy, Rumi has to decide whether to shed her middle-class sensibilities, turning her back on her family, or return to her secluded existence as an unmarried woman in Pakistan.


We follow Rumi from rainy London to a sweltering Karachi, as she tries to take control of her own destiny.

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Review

Rumi, a young woman in her thirties, visits her younger sister, Juveria in Loughton, Uk from Pakistan. Rumi has sacrificed a major chunk of her life to look after her ailing mother. This had given Juveria the freedom to marry and settle down.

Rumi did not begrudge Juveria her happiness, but now after the death of their Mom, Rumi wants to live a life with the freedom she so desired. Her desire takes the shape of Ahad whom she meets at her friend's house. Friendship turns into 'attraction' (the hot, molten kind) and they give in to their desires. (Be ready to feel the heat !!)

Rumi’s relatives expect that since her mom is dead, she should complacently marry any guy her relatives decide for her. Strangely, the support she had expected from her younger sister is cloaked under Juveria's need to follow the norms of the society.

On one hand, Ahad seems to be commitment phobic and since Rumi enters into this relationship knowing the consequences, she couldn't blame Ahad for not wanting to give this relationship a name. On one hand, Rumi faces a broken relationship and on the other hand the stigma of a live-in-relationship, portrays Rumi as a girl of the modern society caught between the matters of the heart and the unspoken, stringent commandments of our society.

Rating

Reasoning
The thoughts of all Asian women are echoed in the words of Rumi. A woman should be sacrificing, a woman should comply when the society demands and the woman should first think of others before she thinks of herself is a maxim which I have always questioned. All these cumulative thoughts of a woman make the character of Rumi, beautifully etched by Natasha Ahmed, very relatable.

The scene that profoundly touched my heart was when Juveria's main objection to the relationship between Rumi and Ahad was based on her own in-law's viewpoint.

Log kya kahenge’is one sentence that is engraved in our tender minds from the time we shed our diapers. As much as I'm trying to control the feminist in me, since I do want men of our society to read this novella, but I cannot help applauding Natasha's bold character Rumi and mentally kicking Juveria for representing all the bipolar norms of our society.

Would I recommend this book – Definitely. Though I'm not propaganding the subject touched in this novella and I might turn into another Juveria in the near future but the stringencies and the hypocrisies that has been present in our society for so long makes Butterfly Season a compelling novel to read. The love story between Rumi and Ahad is cute, passionate and very emotional. ( And of course, the chemistry between them will give you a toe curling moment :D)

About The Author 

Natasha Ahmed is a pen name. In real life, Natasha is a graphic designer, a businesswoman and occasionally writes art and book reviews for publications within Pakistan. She created the pen name to avoid awkward questions of morality and religion (since her book advocates sexual freedom for women) from her close but extremely large family.

She works in a small office at home, not far from Sea View, Karachi. From a tiny window, she can see the Arabian Sea sparkling in the distance, and small fishing boats trawl up and down the water throughout the day. When she’s not writing books, she’s dreaming of setting sail towards the horizon and never looking back. Great adventure, she believes, starts with great daring.


Butterfly Season is her first novella, though not, she hopes, her last.


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3 comments:

  1. Looks like this book is a must read Rubina! Loved your review. I also don't care for "Log kya kahenge" way of life. This one will truly be my cup of tea. Congratulations Natasha Ahmed :)

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    Replies
    1. Thank you, Sundari. I hope you do enjoy it!

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  2. Looks like a good summer read,
    thanks for sharing!

    -Tara
    www.pookasfamily.com

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