Sujata Parasher is a freelance consultant on social projects related to marginalised children and women. Her bio-data states that she “has a rich and diverse professional experience spanning over eight years in the developmental sector and the travel and tourism trade in India and abroad “. With a background like that, it is understandable as to why she has chosen a much- written- about subject like infidelity, even though there have been countless books and movies which have been based on broken marriages and broken promises of ethereal love. Sujata writes about one such modern couple who go through the motions of a seemingly happy marriage, with all the accoutrements of a normal family life. The undercurrents of dissatisfaction and emptiness spill into betrayal and infidelity and of course the resultant turmoil in a family’s life.
The story revolves around Sheena and her loyalty, marital commitments and infidelity issues. It also deals with her reactions with regard to her husband’s one-night stand vis-a-vis her long term affair with her old school friend. There are very few other protagonists in this novel apart from their young son and a few friends who seem to hover around the periphery of the story.
The story leaves you with a sense of disquietude and uneasiness. Here is a young lady having an affair, considering the ending of her marriage in order to remarry, and she reacts with sharp anger and dismay to her husband’s one-night stand. Sheena’s inflexibility with regards to Gaurav’s disloyalty is in direct contrast to her own justifications about her own adultery
The book has obviously been written from a women’s point of view. It is her character that has been illuminated throughout the book. Her emotions, her grappling with her torn loyalties and then her response to her husband’s infidelities are the foundation of the book. The writer has portrayed an image of a young woman who deals with the anguish of her infidelity with justifications and explanations, whereas her husband’s betrayal somehow takes on the hue of an unforgivable sin. All the characters in the novel, specially the three main ones are identifiable as the young yuppie crowd in India’s metros, grappling with jobs and emotional entanglement. Sujata has presented us with a familiar scenario of a two income one child family, where money does not seem to be an issue, but emotional entanglement is. However, the emotions need to be illustrated in a manner where we are able to understand and enjoy the workings of their minds.
There are many questions that have been raised by the writer’s portrayal of infidelity. Is it acceptable, if you claim to love the other person? Can a marriage really just survive on the basic premise that a child’s life is being affected?
Sujata Parasher writes well, her language is simple, without flowery poetical lines and convoluted sentences. As she grows more mature and experienced in her writing, I am hoping that she will be able to give us greater insight into the nature and temperaments of her characters.
As a first novel, it is a decent read, to some extent it is more like a chick-lit story rather than a great literature book. You may not agree with what is being portrayed, but it is a very universal phenomenon , and somewhere it touches the life of someone around us ate sometime.
Book Description: ‘I wish I had known his nature before our marriage. Maybe that would have helped me decide.’ Sheena, a busy professional, is happily married (or so she thinks). Life has become humdrum, and she has more or less accepted her fate, when suddenly life takes a turn and she finds herself trapped between duty and lost love. Caught in the temptation, she struggles to hold onto her married life. Can she find a way out?
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