July 5, 2013

The Butterfly Generation - A Review

Just finished reading "The Butterfly Generation" by Palash Krishna Mehrotra.

The book has been divided into three sections - One-on-One, Wide Angle and Here We Are Now, Entertain Us.

The first section deals with short stories of 8 people in his life. Out of the three section, I liked it the most. There's his one photographer who's been hit hard by recession and now is in debt. He'd made a good amount of money in his good days and now he's waiting for his old days to come back. Then there's the story of how scriptwriters in Bombay write their scripts for the Bollywood. Also the writer has portrayed the lifestyle of drug-addicted call center guys; another story is of his girlfriends.

The writer has effectively provided a view of all those small town guys coming to big cities like Delhi and Mumbai and feel liberated from the shackles of their parents and their conservative thoughts.

The second section, Wide Angle talks about the issues mentioned in the first section in a broader perspective.

What I liked is that the writer has explored many aspects of the youth right from the type of jobs today's youth are doing to their dreams. This kind of thinking would not have been possible with the parents of today's youth. Like the story of a guy who came from a small town and is now working for a multinational fast-food chain.

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The third section, Here We Are Now, Entertain Us seems to be unnecessarily dragged sometimes. It starts with how the Idiot Box has changed with time - from Doordarshan to the cable and finally to the set-top box.

Later on the section moves to the different music genres and the different bands.

In all, the book is good to read, except a few chapters where I think the writer has elaborated unnecessarily.

If you are someone who's born in the 70's or 80's, this book is for you. It'll take you through your good old days of watching Chitrahaar on Doordarshan to the continuous music channels that are being broadcast today on TV.

The book has been rightly tagged - "A Personal Journey into the Passions and Follies of India's Technicolour Youth."

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