Book: The End of Innocence
Author: Moni Mohsin
Rating: 4/5 ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
Moni Mohsin the brilliant writer of the satirical butterfly series, shows her serious side with this book. Every word is soaked in nostalgia of growing up in Pakistan of 70s - in a nation conflicted between the old and new world, the politics and hierarchy of a feudal system, disparity between haves and the have-nots, louche theatre dreams, hopes of romance, confused childhood and dilemmas of growing up, the role of man and woman in a conservative society, and a nation at war inside and out.
Moni's story telling skills are exceptional. I loved the parts where she tells tales of the convent schools of big cities and the taboo of watching vibrant spicy films in Theatre by women folk and the fantasies attached to it.
The narrator is a young girl who shows immense maturity, though in retrospect with guilt. The protagonist is another young girl at the helm of becoming a woman, alluded by dreams and hormones of her age. There are other righteous characters who stick to the old world rules while the new world is embroiled in a fight for basic survival dumping the lofty ideals.
In a not so equal world - everything looses its meaning and there are no happy endings. I fail to understand how a man can become so cruel and inhuman, with anger and frustration lashing over everything in its control ruining so many lives. The book leaves you with a gash on your soul, thinking there is no retribution in this world or this life time, contrary to the religions we believe in. The evil walks free on this planet trampling beauty and innocence.
But who created this evil, isn't it the so called good and the righteous. A bastard kills another bastard life, because it understands how difficult such a life is. Who gives us right to judge others and end lives in the name of social justice. I have no answers, I just wish it never happened because no one can explain the madness that goes on in this world. How any one can kill a child and feel it was the right thing to do? There is good in this world but there is also evil and all those in between are victims. The only place any innocence is left is childhood and the nostalgia of the same haunts us all - the ending of innocence indeed.