I know of Ms. Raksha Bharadia from the days when she edited titles for the “Chicken Soup For The Indian Soul” series of books. They were interesting and entertaining. I enjoyed reading her latest book, published by Rupa recently called, “Chaos In Romance, Sexuality and Fidelity”.
There, the title says it all! Firstly, I must compliment the author for choosing a subject on which not much was written or even spoken about in India until fairly recently. I refer to three topics highlighted in the book, which are not discussed as much as they ought to be namely, romance, sexuality, and fidelity. It struck me on reading this book that just as there is near chaos in many issues of modern day living in India such as economics, road traffic, social and political issues, bringing up children, dealing with teenagers and the like, there is equal chaos going on in today’s views and approaches to romance, sexuality, and fidelity.
This is not a book designed to titillate the curious reader! It does not have stories of sexual escapades or anything of that kind. It is a well researched and informative book that explores how social mores and general opinions have changed (and indeed continue to change by the day) even in India. The author has conducted exhaustive interviews with a wide variety of people ranging from psychologists, marriage counsellors, medical experts, and people at large to glean insights as well as empirical and anecdotal data on these topics. They also throw light on how they have given rise to conflicts in interpersonal and family relationships. The rapid increase in the number of divorces in the country is but one indicator of how so many people are not able to cope with today’s challenges. With more and more working women becoming independent economically the dynamics of married life have changed considerably. The author points out how many men are disappointed when they perceive after marriage that their wives are not as docile as their mothers were or do not place their family above everything else as their mothers did!!
The very nature of relationships in marriage are changing. The expectations of each other and the levels of communication between the partners assume greater significance than ever before. The author takes the reader through many other related issues in today’s society such as the advent of technology into our lives, making it both a boon and a bane. The reasons for infidelity and the lack of understanding each other are also explored in fair depth.
All in all, I think this is an educative and interesting book. Ms. Bharadia has done ever so many people, especially the youth of our country, a favour by talking about issues of romance, sexuality and fidelity with such sensitivity and openness. Highly recommended, especially for those who could have -now or later – problems relating to these issues as these can greatly enhance or crush the quality of your life.