Review ofButterfly in the Wind

The Postcolonial Vision

"Lakshmi Persaud’s approach and attitude, is not one of uncertain, ambiguous acquiescing with the Empire. Unlike Naipaul she is openly, even rebelliously concerned with attacking and pulverizing the colonial constructs as she redefines and expresses the self of the Indians living in Trinidad. Her narrative embodies an attempt to her world in a profoundly different way. Her text has acquired greater depth as she expresses the validity and worth of the apparently humble lives of the Indian women in Trinidad who laboured, suffered and preserved to make achievements possible for the women of future generations...

Kamla of Butterfly in the Wind is more forthright in resisting and rejecting attempts at mental colonization through education given in colonial schools. “It was a time when reasons for things were not given. And so throughout our school life we were given ideas, concepts, values, formulae. We received them and were later told that we had received an education. Because of this we could neither assess nor give meaning to things: even to our own history or that of the misnomer, the ‘New World,’ the Americas..."

The Indian identity articulated by these two Trinidadian writers has a truth and logic which defies all previous definitions by the colonial authority. It is deeply rooted in the ancient culture of India, but it is also shaped by the trauma of transportation, indenture, struggle and humiliation in a foreign land.

The value system inherited from their ancestral land and the narratives of success created later on in a foreign land make this self unique. If V.S. Naipaul is covert in affirming this identity, Lakshmi Persaud is open and confident."