Butterfly generation is about the generation that was born during the Emergency of 1975-77. The book deals with the metamorphosis of this emergency generation that had to flutter among the changes to enjoy the liberal 21st century. But, Palash Krishnan Mehrotra does not really worry about not dealing with socialism in the book that goes by the same name - Butterfly Generation.
On the Second Day of Odisha Literary Festival here on Saturday, the author of ‘Butterfly Generation’ said his writings have influences of the new journalistic writings of Tom Wolfe, who writes facts but, like fiction. He was in conversation with Sujit Mohapatra of Bakul Foundation, who has taken volunteerism to a new level in the State.
Palash described the flitting of his butterfly as a positive trait. He said the ability of the generation to accept the change from Doordarshan to MTV and from socialism to liberalism is incredible. The influences of the West that was gradually becoming dominant have been well dealt in the book. Almost all the social strands have been distinctly portrayed. Social strata right from the then prime minister Rajiv Gandhi to the wives of the rising middle class has been incorporated.
Palash read out some extracts from his book that had brilliant imagery. One that he read out said “Rajiv Gandhi was a hip hop leader among the group then . He wore boots throughout and had them on even when he was killed. Sonia Gandhi was called ‘Sexi Italian’.” The extract was full of such sarcastically humorous terms giving the true reflection of Palash’s idea behind writing the book. The young author faced questions about being anti-socialist in his book which, to many, seems a celebration of liberalisation. “You seem to be very anti-Socialism in your book. It seems to be a celebration of liberalisation but some feel you conflate liberalisation with liberal outlook too simplistically,” Sujit queried.