Marriages are no more made in heaven. At least they don’t appear to be, going by the increasing cases of separation and divorce. And yet, in India, the family still holds some sway in matters relating to matrimony.
Sujata Parashar’s debut novel In Pursuit of Infidelity is a reality novel, exploring the emotional trauma of Sheena, a career girl, torn between her husband of four years and the ‘lost and found’ love. Marriage to Gaurav, whom she calls a ‘good husband’ is not ‘fun.’ He is too busy building up his business to spare time for her and her son.
Enter the scene Nikhil, her senior in school. He shocks her by telling her that he had always been in love with her. She had had a crush on him in college but never expressed it. She tells him that she was in a marriage that was increasingly becoming unhappy. Without her really seeking it, relationship develops between them and the distance grows between her Gaurav, who leaves for Singapore for a month.
When he comes back, Sheena realises that he has had a relationship with another woman there. Though Gaurva calls it a one-time accident than an emotional one, Sheena walks out on him and demands divorce. She very much plans to marry Nikhil, who continues to see her. But at the moment when the divorce agreement is to be signed, Sheena changes her mind and decides to live in marriage with Gaurav.
The theme of the novel is not exactly new. There have been several movies on these lines in India, in Hindi and regional languages. But it is true that with women working outside their homes more now, they meet men other than their husbands. This situation is a potential reality. The author has captured the emotional dilemma of Sheena and her guilt. The author’s point seems to be that in this changing times, we must learn to forgive ourselves and our partners and work to strengthen the marriage, the child being a crucial factor.
Sujata Parashar is a freelance consultant on social projects related to marginalised children and women.
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