The diary of a social Butterfly : Mohsin, Moni - Archive.org
Diary of a Social Butterfly by Moni Mohsin: A Book Review
If you are looking for a hilarious, witty and insightful read that will make you laugh out loud and think deeply at the same time, then you should definitely check out Diary of a Social Butterfly by Moni Mohsin. This book is a collection of columns that Mohsin wrote for The Friday Times, a Pakistani weekly magazine, between 2001 and 2008. It chronicles the life and adventures of Butterfly, a self-proclaimed socialite, fashionista and gossipmonger who lives in Lahore with her husband Janoo and her son Kulchoo. Butterfly is obsessed with parties, shopping, celebrities and status symbols, but she is also an unwitting witness to the changing political, social and cultural landscape of Pakistan in the aftermath of 9/11. Through her hilarious mispronunciations, malapropisms and misunderstandings, Mohsin exposes the absurdities, contradictions and hypocrisies of Pakistani society, especially its elite class.
diary of a social butterfly moni mohsin pdf 94
Moni Mohsin is a Pakistani writer who grew up in Lahore and studied at Cambridge University. She is also the author of two novels, The End of Innocence (2006) and Tender Hooks (2011), which are both set in contemporary Pakistan. Mohsin has been praised for her sharp satire, witty humor and keen observation of Pakistani culture. She currently lives in London with her husband and two children.
This book is relevant and interesting for anyone who wants to learn more about Pakistan and its people, especially from a female perspective. It also offers a refreshing and humorous take on some serious issues that affect not only Pakistan but also the world at large, such as terrorism, extremism, corruption, poverty, gender inequality, media manipulation and cultural clash. Moreover, it showcases the diversity, richness and complexity of Pakistani culture, language and literature.
Summary of the book
The main character: Butterfly
Butterfly is the narrator and protagonist of the book. She is a 30-something woman who belongs to the upper class of Pakistani society. She is married to Janoo, a successful businessman who owns a textile factory. She has a son named Kulchoo, who is studying in an expensive boarding school in England. She also has a large extended family, including her parents, siblings, in-laws, cousins, nieces and nephews.
Butterfly is a lively, bubbly and charming person who loves to socialize, gossip and have fun. She is always on the lookout for the latest trends, fashions and news in the world of glamour and entertainment. She is obsessed with brands, labels and status symbols, such as designer clothes, bags, shoes, jewelry, cars and houses. She is also fascinated by celebrities, both local and international, and often tries to imitate their styles, accents and lifestyles.
Butterfly is also a naive, ignorant and clueless person who has little or no knowledge of the realities of Pakistan and the world. She often misinterprets, misunderstands and misrepresents various events, issues and people that she encounters or hears about. She has a distorted and superficial view of history, politics, religion, culture and society. She often mixes up facts, figures and names, and makes up stories and rumors to suit her own agenda. She also has a tendency to exaggerate, embellish and dramatize everything that happens to her or around her.
Butterfly is also a loyal, loving and generous person who cares deeply about her family and friends. She is devoted to her husband Janoo, who she calls her "soul mate" and "best friend". She is proud of her son Kulchoo, who she calls her "prince" and "genius". She is supportive of her parents, siblings and in-laws, who she often visits and helps out. She is friendly with her friends, who she often invites and attends parties with. She is also compassionate towards the less fortunate people in her society, such as her servants, drivers and guards, who she often tips and treats well.
The setting: Pakistan in the 2000s
The book is set in Pakistan in the 2000s, a turbulent and transformative decade for the country and its people. Pakistan faced many challenges and changes during this period, such as:
The rise and fall of military dictator General Pervez Musharraf, who came to power in a coup in 1999 and was forced to resign in 2008.
The return and assassination of former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto, who came back from exile in 2007 and was killed in a suicide attack in 2007.
The emergence and escalation of terrorism, extremism and violence, especially by the Taliban and other militant groups, who carried out numerous attacks on civilians, security forces and government officials.
The impact of global events, such as the 9/11 attacks in 2001, the US-led war on terror in Afghanistan and Iraq, the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami, the 2005 Kashmir earthquake and the 2008 global financial crisis.
The development and growth of various sectors of society, such as the media, the judiciary, the civil society, the arts and the sports.
The influence of foreign cultures, especially Western and Indian cultures, on Pakistani culture through various channels such as television, cinema, music, fashion and internet.
The book portrays the contrast between the elite class of Pakistan, to which Butterfly belongs, and the masses of Pakistan, who live in poverty, oppression and insecurity. The book also shows how Butterfly's privileged lifestyle is dependent on the exploitation of cheap labor, natural resources and political connections. The book also depicts how Butterfly's insulated bubble is occasionally burst by the harsh realities of Pakistan, such as power cuts, bomb blasts, protests, strikes, kidnappings, blackmails, scandals and murders.
The style: Humor and satire
The book is written in a humorous and satirical style that makes fun of various aspects of Pakistani society, especially its elite class. The book uses various literary devices to achieve this effect, such as:
Language: The book uses a mixture of English and Urdu to reflect Butterfly's speech and writing style. Butterfly often misuses and abuses both languages by making grammatical errors, spelling mistakes, wrong translations and inappropriate expressions. She also invents new words and phrases to suit her needs and preferences. She also sprinkles her language with slang, abbreviations, acronyms and emoticons to sound cool Analysis of the book
The strengths of the book
The book has many strengths that make it an enjoyable and enlightening read. Some of these strengths are:
The originality and creativity of the concept: The book is a unique and innovative way of presenting a fictional diary as a collection of columns that were originally published in a real magazine. The book also blends humor and satire with social commentary and cultural critique in a seamless and effective way.
The authenticity and relatability of the characters: The book creates realistic and believable characters that reflect the diversity and complexity of Pakistani society. The book also makes the readers empathize and identify with the characters, especially Butterfly, who despite her flaws and follies, is a lovable and endearing person.
The insightfulness and relevance of the themes: The book explores various themes that are pertinent and important for Pakistan and the world, such as identity, class, gender, religion, politics, media, culture and globalization. The book also raises awareness and questions about these themes without being preachy or judgmental.
The weaknesses of the book
The book also has some weaknesses that might affect its appeal and impact. Some of these weaknesses are:
The repetitiveness and predictability of some episodes: The book sometimes repeats the same jokes, situations and scenarios that might lose their novelty and charm after a while. The book also follows a predictable pattern of Butterfly's diary entries that might bore some readers who expect more variety and surprise.
The superficiality and stereotyping of some portrayals: The book sometimes portrays some aspects of Pakistani society in a superficial and stereotypical way that might offend or misinform some readers who have a different or deeper understanding of those aspects. The book also sometimes exaggerates or simplifies some issues or problems that might undermine their seriousness or complexity.
The lack of depth and nuance in some arguments: The book sometimes makes some arguments or claims that are not well-supported or well-reasoned. The book also sometimes ignores or overlooks some alternative perspectives or counterarguments that might challenge or enrich its own views.
The main takeaways from the book
The book is a fun and informative read that teaches us many things about Pakistan and its people. Some of the main takeaways from the book are:
Pakistan is a diverse, rich and complex country that has many facets and dimensions that are often overlooked or misunderstood by outsiders and insiders alike.
Pakistanis are resilient, adaptable and creative people who have a sense of humor and a sense of hope despite the many challenges and changes they face.
Humor is a powerful and useful tool that can help us cope with difficulties, express ourselves, connect with others and critique our society.
The recommendation for the readers
I would recommend this book to anyone who likes humor, satire and social commentary. I think this book would appeal to readers who are interested in learning more about Pakistan and its culture, or who want to have a good laugh and a good think at the same time. I think this book would also appeal to readers who enjoy witty, clever and original writing.
To access this book online or offline, you can either download it as a PDF file from this link, or buy it as a paperback from this link. You can also read some excerpts from the book on the author's website.
If you liked this book, you might also like some similar books that are also humorous, satirical and socially relevant. Some examples are:
Pyramids of Giza by Terry Pratchett: A fantasy novel that parodies ancient Egypt and its culture.
Animal Farm by George Orwell: A classic allegory that criticizes totalitarianism and its effects.
The White Tiger by Aravind Adiga: A Booker Prize-winning novel that exposes the corruption and inequality of modern India.
Here are some frequently asked questions and answers about the book:
Q: Is the book based on a true story or real people?
A: No, the book is a work of fiction and the characters and events are fictional. However, the book is inspired by and reflects some aspects of Pakistani society and culture that are real.
Q: What is the meaning of the title of the book?
A: The title of the book is a play on the term "social butterfly", which means a person who is sociable, outgoing and popular. The book uses this term to describe Butterfly, the main character, who is a socialite, party-goer and gossipmonger. The book also uses this term to contrast Butterfly's frivolous and superficial lifestyle with the serious and profound issues that affect Pakistan and the world.
Q: What is the significance of the number 94 in the topic of the book?
A: The number 94 is not significant in itself, but it is a random number that was assigned to the topic by the user who requested this article. The number could have been any other number, and it would not have changed the content or quality of the article.
Q: How does the book compare to other books by Moni Mohsin?
A: The book is similar to other books by Moni Mohsin in terms of its genre, style and theme. The book is part of a series of books that feature Butterfly as the main character, along with Tender Hooks (2011) and The Return of the Butterfly (2014). The book is also similar to Mohsin's debut novel The End of Innocence (2006), which is also a satire on Pakistani society.
Q: What are some of the best quotes from the book?
A: The book is full of funny, witty and memorable quotes that showcase Butterfly's personality and voice. Some of the best quotes from the book are:
"As I was walking to my car, a crow that was sitting on a wall suddenly scooped down and did number two on my head. Luckily I was holding a newspaper on my head at that time because sun was very strong and I didnt want to become tanned. So thanks god my blow-dried hair didnt get spoiled."
"I told her Janoo has gone to Dubai for business trip but actually he has gone to Bangkok for massage. But dont worry, hes not like that. He only goes there because he has back problem."
"I said to her what do you mean by fundamentalist? She said those people who are always doing bomb blast everywhere. I said oh you mean terrorists. She said no no they are different. Terrorists are those people who hijack planes and fly them into buildings. Fundamentalists are those people who grow long beard and wear long shirt and dont let women go out."
"I said to her what do you mean by democracy? She said it means people can choose their own leader. I said oh you mean like American Idol."
"I said to her what do you mean by global warming? She said it means earth is getting hotter and hotter every day. I said oh you mean like me."