(Hardback | ISBN 9789388326872 | 144 pp | Feb 2019)
This title will be available by 15 Feb 2019.
Prabhakar, returning home one evening, comes upon a corpse at a crossroads, naked but for the skullcap on his head. Days later, he listens to Katerina’s stark retelling of a gang rape in a village, as chilling as only the account of a victim can be. And in a macabre sequence, he finds his favourite dhaba no longer serves gular kebabs and rumali roti, while Bonjour, the fine dining restaurant run by a gay couple, has been vandalised by goons.
Casting a long shadow over it all is Mirajkar, the ‘Master Mind’, brilliant policy maker and political theorist, who is determined to rid the country of all elements alien to its culture—as he, and his partymen, perceive it.
A professor of political science, Prabhakar observes these occurrences with deepening concern. Is the theory he put forth in his book—that it is not the influence of those who preach goodness and compassion that prevails, but the matter-offactness of cruelty—playing out before him?
In the midst of all this, he meets Katerina, beautiful, half-Russian, wearing the scars of a brutal incident as a badge of honour. Together, they discover that, even in times that are grim, there is joy to be had.
‘In this breathtaking new novel, [Sahgal] confronts the toxic dangers of the historical moment—war, religious polarisation, authoritarian charisma, a dystopian future that is already upon us.’—Ranjit Hoskote
‘The Fate of Butterflies is a brilliant, superbly told tale that is a meditation on what is happening in our country today. This brave and hugely readable novel is a telling comment on what may happen when a country’s rulers try to wipe out chunks of its history and marginalize an entire community.’—Kiran Nagarkar