Book Review

Never the Butterfly by Ankur Ashta

An Intimate Exploration of Life's Complexities

It is a beautifully written novel that explores the complexities of love and language. The author's poetic writing style is both captivating and thought-provoking, and his ability to seamlessly weave together different themes makes for a truly engaging read.

Title: Never the Butterfly

Author: Ankur Ashta

Publisher: Good Times Books

Genre: Contemporary Romance

First Publication: 2023

Language: English

Book Summary: Never the Butterfly by Ankur Ashta

Blessed with a father, who would not intrude into anyone else’s business unless it was impolite behaviour or wrong usage of English, Mohan willy-nilly develops a love-hate relationship with the language. He is brimful of grievances against English – for a long time, he couldn’t bring himself to acknowledge that ‘inflammable’ signified something that caught fire and burnt easily and that it was a synonym to ‘flammable’ – yet, at the same time, can’t stand it being subjected to incorrect usage.

Other than this special skill or interest, his existence is nondescript. He is busy with his mundane pursuits when an unpleasant meeting with Saanjh begins to change the course of his life. While his tussle with English continues to be an inseparable part of his being, a parallel journey from hatred to indifference to love for this unpredictable girl brings him face-to-face with untouched facets of his life. He is adrift in a world of bewilderment, making sense of some of these facets and bringing them into harmony when he meets Aaradhya, an enigmatic young woman known for her beauty, mood swings and poems. Mohan is yet to decrypt her when she departs secretly from the venue of their first private meeting, leaving behind just a sad poem.

With the support of a friend Burkha Singh, who never feels sorry and his lousy sidekick Lala, Mohan carries on with his life. His affair with the English language gains more vigour and wins him a coveted reputation, but his relationship with Saanjh remains indefinite.

He is still persevering through the ambiguity of this uneasy friendship when Aaradhya makes a comeback in his life but as a different person. While he can’t get over Saanjh and often finds himself overwhelmed by how she makes him feel, decoding Aaradhya’s life too becomes an unspoken mission for him.

Thus begins an adventure laden with passion, desire, hope and loss as the lives of these characters intertwine before descending into chaos, forcing them to consider both their harmonious and conflicting interests.

The English language, meanwhile, provides a perfect backdrop for the story, bringing the characters together and having them act out the events.

Book Review - Never The Butterfly

Book Review: Never the Butterfly by Ankur Ashta

In the world of literature, there are few things as fulfilling as discovering a hidden gem, a book that not many people know about, but that is a true work of art. Never the Butterfly by Ankur Ashta is one such gem. This novel is a complex and poetic exploration of language, love, and life, and it deserves to be read and analyzed carefully.

The pages of this novel bear witness to a tale that tugs at the heartstrings with its poignant portrayal of the human experience. Amidst the pages, we meet Mohan, a man with a love-hate relationship with the English language, thanks to his father’s penchant for correcting incorrect usage. Mohan’s life takes an unexpected turn when he encounters Saanjh, a meeting that sets in motion a journey filled with love, confusion, and revelation.

As Mohan grapples with his emotions for Saanjh, a parallel journey unfolds when he meets Aaradhya, a mysteriously beautiful young woman with a penchant for poetry. As Mohan tries to unravel the enigma that is Aaradhya, he is forced to confront and reconcile the untapped facets of his own life. With the help of his friend Burkha Singh and Lala, Mohan navigates the uncertainty of his relationships with Saanjh and Aaradhya, all while exploring the complexities of the English language, which serves as the backdrop for the story.

In Never the Butterfly, Ankur Ashta weaves a tale of life’s uncertainty, expressed through a handful of vividly portrayed characters. Each character in this novel is unique, with their own quirks and idiosyncrasies. Mohan, the protagonist of the novel, is a man of contradictions, both endearing and perplexing in his demeanor. Mohan is the embodiment of everyman, navigating the murky waters of life’s unpredictability with a wry wit and steely determination. Saanjh, a woman who enters Mohan’s life quite unexpectedly, is a beautiful and unpredictable character. Her presence in Mohan’s life throws him off balance, and he struggles to make sense of his feelings for her. Saanjh’s character is complex and multifaceted, and Ashta skillfully captures her depth and complexity. Aaradhya, a woman known for her beauty and mood swings, is an enigmatic character who captures Mohan’s heart. As the novel progresses, Mohan finds himself drawn to Aaradhya in inexplicable ways.

Through these characters, Ankur Ashta explores the many shades of human emotion – from love to loss, passion to desire, hope to uncertainty. Each character is an integral part of the narrative, and Ashta’s masterful storytelling brings them to life in vivid detail.

The themes explored in “Never the Butterfly” are as varied as the colors of a butterfly’s wings. From the complexities of language to the intricacies of love, this novel is a journey through the human experience, presented with poetic grace. One of the most prominent themes is the power of language. The protagonist, Mohan, has a love-hate relationship with the English language, a struggle that permeates his daily life. As Mohan navigates the nuances of language, he also grapples with his own identity, wrestling with questions of belonging and cultural heritage.

Another theme explored is the unpredictability of love. Mohan’s relationships with Saanjh and Aaradhya are both marked by twists and turns, leaving him to navigate a complex web of emotions. Through these relationships, the novel explores the meaning of connection and the ways in which love can both enrich and complicate our lives. Loss and grief are also important themes in the novel. Through these experiences, the novel offers a poignant meditation on the human condition, reminding us that life is fragile and that even our deepest connections can be fleeting.

The writing style in Ankur Ashta’s “Never the Butterfly” is as poetic as the story itself, weaving words into a tapestry of emotions and experiences. The author’s use of imagery is particularly noteworthy, as he creates vivid and captivating scenes that transport the reader into the characters’ worlds. Ashta’s writing is characterized by a distinctive style that is both lyrical and evocative. The language is rich and descriptive, with each word carefully chosen to convey a particular feeling or mood. The author employs a variety of literary devices, such as metaphors, similes, and personification, to add depth and complexity to the story.

One of the most striking features of Ashta’s writing is his ability to evoke a sense of longing and nostalgia in the reader. He creates a world that is both familiar and foreign, drawing on the characters’ experiences to explore the universal themes of love, loss, and identity. As a result, the reader gains a deeper understanding of the intricacies of human relationships and the complexity of the human experience.

Ankur Ashta’s writing is a testament to the beauty and complexity of the human experience. The pages of “Never the Butterfly” are imbued with raw emotion and evocative imagery that lingers long after the last word is read. This novel is a must-read for anyone who appreciates the art of storytelling and the intricacies of human relationships.

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It is a beautifully written novel that explores the complexities of love and language. The author's poetic writing style is both captivating and thought-provoking, and his ability to seamlessly weave together different themes makes for a truly engaging read.Never the Butterfly by Ankur Ashta