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Book: 3’s A Crowd
Author: Vijay Nagaswami
India is a place where still uttering words like “infidelity” will make people roll their eyes. Affairs - irrespective of being extra-marital or pre-marital are a taboo to be talked upon. Even if someone sees you reading a book on anything to do with relationship, you will be seen as a person with some different morale. As much as we portray ourselves as very civilized and traditional group, so much of affairs keep happening around us. Every now and then a scandal or rumor arises about affairs. But as long as it doesn’t happen to us or people in our close circle, we tend to look at it as information or a juicy chunk of gossip. These affairs carry with it a lot of assumptions and myths. The very cover of the book shatters the ever told myth: “It’s common that men stray”. But who do they have affair with? I told myself, “Okay, that’s a point.”
All of us tend to believe that infidelity or affair could happen only for others. Mine is a perfect relationship. But even those who face the infidelity think the same before discovering it. The point is: It might happen in any relationship or marriage. Vijay has artfully put this book together. I would call it “A-Z infidelity”. He has begun with how monogamy is a discipline we follow and not the nature of our species, connecting to the infidelity in history and its changes in the modern times. Another myth proven wrong is: “affairs are those when physical relationship involves”. Author has penned the various types of affairs and the driving factors behind them. For example, even emotional intimacy with opposite gender other than your spouse which detracts your marriage qualifies as an affair.
The casual tone and stating things matter-of-fact drives home the point hitting the bulls eye. The five hall-marks of an affair stated by Vijay would definitely make ourselves think if we are having any affair unconsciously. The book is divided into two parts: Understanding infidelity and Surviving infidelity. Time and again, Vijay keeps insisting the point: “An affair happens because a person chooses so. The counter-part is not responsible for an affair by being unattractive or any such reason.” Even perfect and happy marriages stumble upon infidelity. Apt stories illustrate every little nuance which the author tries to tell.
While the first half of book analyzes infidelity, second half tells you how to survive through it and emerge out successfully. “It happened, now how do I handle it and come out of it without throwing a tantrum”- is what the book tries to tell you. The book analyzes from both the partner’s perspective without imaging anyone as villain. Taking a neutral stand, it advises both the parties the most advisable course of actions to follow. The focal point of the book is how far it is possible to revive the marriage or the relationship after the catastrophe “infidelity” happens.
This is not a novel or a story to criticize from literary perspective analyzing the metaphors and personifications. Definite applauds for the articulation of the rich and heavy content. Being the third book in the series “The New Indian Marriage” and the first I read, there are many references to the other books in the series as well.
Guess I might write this review as big as a book in an attempt to pen down my thought flow. I would recommend this book to anyone irrespective of being in relationship or not, or for that matter married or not. Whichever category you fall in, this book is going to serve you as guide on how to react and live through the trauma of infidelity. Or unfortunately, if you have already faced one then it is going to alter most of your perceptions about affairs and break a few myths which you are clinging to. And hey, wait! Do not think that you will start suspecting your partner after reading this book. It is just going to make you bond more to him/her. In author’s words: “Trust your partner, and more than that trust yourself.”Please buy the book from your local bookstore.